Orecchiette with Veal, Capers and White Wine


"The sauce fits the pasta," said judge Marc Vetri in praise of this tender veal ragù flavored with white wine, capers, thyme and rosemary, then tossed with the little ear-shaped orecchiette. "The meat, the capers—they hang on to the pasta when you lift up your fork."

Orecchiette with Veal, Capers and White Wine
Photo: © Quentin Bacon
Total Time:
40 mins


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)

  • 1 garlic clove (minced)

  • 1 pound ground veal

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock

  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme

  • ½ teaspoon chopped rosemary

  • 2 tablespoons small capers (rinsed)

  • ¾ pound orecchiette

  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the veal, season with salt and pepper and raise the heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veal is no longer pink and any liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes.

  2. Add the white wine to the skillet and boil over high heat until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, thyme, rosemary and capers and simmer over moderate heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, cook the orecchiette in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta well and add it to the skillet along with the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, chopped parsley and butter. Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to bowls and serve right away.

Make Ahead

The veal sauce can be covered and refrigerated overnight. Rewarm the veal sauce before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Crisp, substantial white blend from northern Italy.

Related Articles