Zampa di Vitcllo alia Toscana (zam-pah dee vcc-teh-loh allah toss-cah-nah) makes a sustaining and nourishing meal. Serve with rice and a tomato and basil salad. The cooking liquid which is not used in the recipe may be used in the preparation of Calf’s Foot Jelly.
6 calves’ feet, cleaned and blanched
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 medium-sized carrots, scraped and halved lengthways
1 bay leaf
8 black peppercorns
1 oz. butter
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 tablespoon sherry
2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon finely grated Pectorino cheese
Place the calves’ feet, half of the salt, 1 onion, the celery, carrots, bay leaf and peppercorns in a large saucepan.
Cover with cold water and bring the water to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the calves’ feet for 3 hours.
Remove the pan from the heat and, using a slotted spoon, remove the feet from the pan. With a sharp knife, remove the meat from the bones and cut it into small pieces. Return the bones to the saucepan and reserve the meat.
In a medium-sized frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the remaining onion to the pan and fry, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the onion is golden brown. Add the reserved meat to the pan and 5 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Either discard the remaining cooking liquid or reserve it for future use. Add the rest of the salt, the pepper, tomato puree, sherry and nutmeg and stir well to blend. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle over the parsley and cheese and serve immediately.