In my opinion, veal kidneys make a nicer meal than lambs’ kidneys, bat they aren’t so readily available. However, if you do have them, just cut the walnut-sized pieces off the main ‘flump’ and use as for lambs’ kidneys.
First clean the kidneys. Hold one between your fingers on a chopping board with the white gristle facing up. Using a sharp knife, cut down, avoiding gristle. This will give you two flattish kidney-shaped halves, one with gristle attached. Cut gristle out using the point of a sharp knife. Do the same for remainder, to give you 30 kidney halves.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook pasta. Drain, toss with oil and keep warm.
Heat a large frying pan and add half the butter. Cook until almost nut-brown, then add kidneys, cut-side down, and fry 30 seconds. Turn over, fry another 20 seconds, then tip into a bowl with their juices. Keep the pan hot and add remaining butter and when it’s melted add the leek and cook until wilted and beginning to colour. Add cream and gin and boil to reduce, adding kidneys once it begins to boil. Cook until kidneys are just losing their pinkness. Check seasoning and spoon over pasta while still hot.
© 2003 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.