Pasta with Veal, Peas and Cream
This is a lighter take on a ragu, so perfect for after work while it's still warm-ish in the evening. Some people balk at veal, which is a shame as the veal production in the UK is completely ethical (well, as ethical as meat eating can be) and is technically 'rose veal'. Abroad, it's often a different story, with horrendous tales of baby cows having constricted movement and light to keep the meal white and tender: avoid if in doubt.
Here though, if not eaten for meat then male calves just end up as a waste by-product for the dairy industry, which would be sad. Veal mince is lower in calories and saturated fat than fully grown beef mince, but with only a few grams shy of the protein content typically. Also - it's tasty! Give this a try:
You will need:
250g veal mince
A few handfuls of peas
2 sticks of celery
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
Dash white wine
400g short, round pasta - ideally orecchiette, I used dischi volanti from Tesco
Begin by finely chopping the celery, onion and garlic and sauteeing gently in a splash of olive oil. Don't scrimp on this step, as hard onions and celery are unpleasant - low and slow is the name of the game. Once everything is softened, add the veal mince and brown it off. This should take around 5 minutes, then you can add the white wine over a high heat and then the cream (best to use double, then it won't split) and turn the heat down to a low simmer. Add the peas and give it all another few minutes whilst you cook the pasta according to pack instructions.
Mix the cooked pasta together with the veal sauce and season well, adding ladles of the pasta cooking water if you feel it is too dry. Serve topped with plenty of grated parmesan.