Veal kidney with ceps and pasta

There was an offer on veal kidney on the market and I bought some. Two went straight into the freezer and one was for a weekend meal.

I had been reading several recipes, and discussed it with my hairdresser as one does in France. What had caught my eye is that in several Italian recipes (for rognoni) the kidneys are first put in a bowl of water with some vinegar, then dried and sprinkled with flour.

The French just put the rognons in a skillet and then remove them to discard the first juices, before resuming cooking.

The Italians are perhaps a bit more suspicious of the kidneys then the French as the vinegar helps to kill bacteria. Lemon has the same role in some recipes. The French sometimes add cognac or Armagnac to the kidneys and flame them, before adding cream. The alcohol and flame also kills bacteria, and adds taste.

I tried the Italian way and the result was rather pleasant.

 

Ingredients (for two)

  • One whole veal kidney
  • 15 grams of dried ceps
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • A dash of red wine vinegar
  • Pasta (penne or fusilli)
  • Veal stock
  • Pepper

 

Steps

  1. Remove the fat from the kidneys and cut into small pieces.
  2. Put water in a bowl; add some vinegar and then the kidneys. Set aside for about an hour (in the fridge)
  3. Put the ceps in tepid water for 15 minutes, then drain and keep the liquid.
  4. Bring a small pan with water to the boil and add the ceps. Turn the heat down and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the ceps, keep the liquid, and pat them dry.
  5. Drain the kidneys, pat them dry and coat them with flour. (Either by putting flour and kidneys in a plastic bag, then shake the closed bag, or by putting the kidneys with the flour in a sieve and then shaking the sieve).
  6. Take the kidneys out one by one and put them on a cloth or piece of paper.
  7. Put the ceps liquid in a pan and bring to the boil, then add the pasta and cook for the required time. Boil some water and add some veal stock powder.
  8. Put butter in a skillet and let it foam, add the kidneys and met them brown for a little while, then turn over. After a few minutes, add the veal stock*.
  9. Then add the ceps. When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the kidneys and transfer to a serving dish. Add pepper, and salt, to taste.

* You could add marsala, sherry or wine here. Fresh parsley can also be added towards the end.