Veal Marsala, a meal many of us only consider having at an Italian restaurant, is easy to prepare at home. This tasty, one pan dish of tender veal topped with a light mushroom Marsala wine sauce and placed on top of buttered fettuccine is a quick and elegant dinner to serve when entertaining throughout the year.
Since this recipe only requires a few ingredients, I try to use the best that I can find. For this special dinner, I cross the New Hampshire border and head down to a gourmet grocery store 25 miles away in Massachusetts. There I can find beautiful veal scaloppini, sliced thinly from the leg, veal demi glace and Marsala wine. Veal demi glace, if you can find it, is an ingredient that adds a depth of flavor to the sauce but beef stock can be used in its place. I suggest using a nice Marsala wine because if it isn’t good enough to drink, you don’t want to use it in this special dinner. My husband prefers a semi sweet Marsala wine for the sauce but dry, which I prefer, is what I used in this recipe. This fortified wine from Sicily will add a rich caramelized and savory flavor to the veal. If Marsala is hard to find where you live, you could substitute another fortified wine such as Madeira or sherry which would give you a similar but slightly different taste. A less expensive alternative to veal Marsala but equally delicious, would be chicken Marsala prepared the same way.
Serves two, adjust the recipe according
- 4 thin slices of veal scallopini (about 3 oz. each), chicken may be substituted
- salt and pepper to taste
- flour for dusting (I use Wondra)
- 2 Tbsp. butter plus an additional 3 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced (I used Baby Bella)
- 3/4 c. Marsala wine
- 7 oz. container of veal demi glace (I used D’Artgnan) or 1 c. beef stock
- 1/8 tsp. truffle oil (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
If the scallopini are large, cut them in half. Pat the veal dry with paper towel, season each side with salt and pepper then dust lightly with flour, shaking off any excess. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 Tbsp. butter with 1 Tbsp. oil over medium high heat. Add half of the veal and sauté briefly 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side just until it turns a light golden brown, being careful not to overcook. Remove the veal from the pan and set aside. Repeat with another Tbsp. butter, olive oil and the remaining veal. When cooked, remove from the pan and set aside with the other veal.
Using the same pan, add 1 Tbsp. of butter, the shallots and garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add an additional Tbsp. of butter, the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the Marsala and cook over medium high heat, stirring often, until the wine is reduced by half. Add the demi glace or beef broth, whichever you are using. Simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Stir the remaining Tbsp. of butter into the sauce, taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Add the truffle oil, if using, and the chopped parsley. Return the veal to the pan along with any accumulated juices. Turn to coat and simmer the veal no more than a minute to heat through as the veal will dry out if even slightly overcooked.
I served the tender veal and its savory mushroom wine sauce over a bed of fettuccine that had been tossed with a simple mixture of olive oil, butter and finely chopped fresh parsley. If you do the same, have your pasta ready and kept warm before adding your veal to the sauce. A mixed green salad, some crusty bread and a good bottle of red wine make a great accompaniment to this delicious meal. Buon Appetito!