Let me clarify something right from the start cause you’re going to see the pictures and say “hey, where is the sauce?” Translated, yes, bianco means white and “in bianco’ literally means blank. In Italian cooking however, ‘in bianco’ is a term used when making food with few and simple ingredients . You will often hear people that aren’t feeling well, recovering, or on a diet in Italy say that they are going to eat ‘in bianco’.
Don’t be fooled by the connotations of ‘healthy’ and ‘diet’. Eating ‘in bianco’ is usually simple food, but definitely not lacking in flavour. Take for example this dish shared with us by our friends at Consiglio’s Kitchenware. It is a spin on the traditional ‘pasta in bianco’. A popular dish in Italy that involves coating the cooked pasta with a little bit of butter and olive oil and then seasoning it with black pepper and freshly grated cheese.
We are told that this Barese pasta dish was a regularly made favourite in their Nonna Angela’s kitchen. The white sauce is actually more like a clear sauce – the delicious end result of the white wine braised veal.
"Seared meat that is removed from pan which is then deglazed with vegetables and liquid (broth, wine, beer, or water). Return meat to pan with liquids and then braise slowly in a closed dutch oven".
The seared veal, onion, and white wine is braised for 2 hours until it is fall-off-the-bone tender. Unlike many other meat and pasta recipes, this one is best when the bones are left in the cuts of meat. This adds a complex flavour base and richness to the sauce. The cut of veal is “soto spala” also known as veal shoulder blade. If buying the meat from a butcher, ask him or her to cut it into medium sized pieces- leaving the bones in. It is best to let the professionals handle this part.
The dish is served with a generous ladleful of the white wine sauce, a few chunks of the braised veal, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Put down the jar of tomato sauce and give this a try!
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 pinches chili flakes
- 4 lbs veal shoulder, (bone in, cut into medium size pieces) (ask butcher to prepare for you)
- 4 onions, medium dice
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 cups dry white cooking wine
- 4 bay leaves
- 5 cups water (or just enough to cover meat)
- 1 tsp+1 tbsp salt (to season and for pasta water)
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper
- 600 grams spaghetti pasta (dry in package)
- 6 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- Heat a deep large pot (approx. 6 -8 L) over medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil and chili flakes.
- Once the oil is hot, lightly brown the veal on all sides. The meat should sizzle in the pan when added. If it does not, the pan and oil are not yet hot enough.
- Next, add the onion and garlic to the meat in the pot. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Next, add the wine and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Let simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, letting some of the wine reduce and concentrate.
- Add 5 cups of water, or just enough to cover the meat in the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and let braise for 2 hours with the lid slightly open. For the last 20 minutes of cooking, remove lid completely and continue to simmer. This will allow the sauce to reduce and concentrate.
- Finally, bring a separate large pot of water with 1 tbsp salt to a rolling boil. Add the spaghetti and cook as per instructions on package. As the pasta is cooking, remove some of the veal and juice and place in a bowl to garnish the plated pasta. Discard cloves of garlic. Drain pasta in colander then add to the pot with Sugo in Bianco. Mix well.
- Serve pasta hot and top with reserved veal and juice.
- Finish off with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.