Serving up home-style cooking: truffles for everyone

By Hannah Dustman


Lunch at Trattoria Za Za, an oasis behind the Mercato Centrale. Photo by Hannah Dustman

FLORENCE, Italy – Trattoria Za Za sits just behind the Mercato Centrale, where owner Stefano Bondi has shopped for the ingredients for his restaurant for over 40 years.

The freshly sourced menu draws locals and celebrities alike, evident from the snapshots of famous personalities, like Michael Jackson, hanging from the walls of the trattoria.

But don’t let the framed superstars deter you from tasting the home-style cooking. And don’t forget to check out the separate menu solely for delectable truffle dishes.

Truffles, which can be described as the fruit of an underground mushroom and classified as a fungus, is commonly found throughout Italy. Truffles are often incorporated into sauces and glazes, such as truffled veal roulade.

Try this at home:

Truffled Veal Roulade (Involtini di vietella saporiti e tartufati)

Recipe adapted from Trattoria Za Za by Stefano Bondi

Serves 4

4 slices of veal approximately 120 g or ¼ pound each

4 slices speck

4 salt-packed anchovy fillets

1 egg separated

4-6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Truffle and mushroom sauce (available from Italian delicatessens)

4 basil leaves

Ready or homemade stock plus ½ bullion cube

1 cup of white wine

White flour for dusting

8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for frying

4 tablespoons butter


White pepper

Arrange veal on a work surface and flatten to a uniform thickness. Season with a little salt and place one speck and one anchovy fillet on each slice of veal, topping with the following mixture: egg yolk, a dollop of truffle and mushroom sauce, white pepper, 1 basil leaf, and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese (to taste). Next, spread egg white along the edge of each veal slice before rolling up the meat. Roll up and secure with toothpicks. Roll the outside of the roulades in flour, and season with salt to taste. Pour olive oil in a wide-bottomed pan and heat. Once the oil is hot, brown the roulades on all sides. When the meat turns a dark color, add a half glass of white wine and increase the heat to evaporate the alcohol. Remove veal from pan when done. Add bullion cube and another ½ cup white wine. Then, reduce heat. Dip butter in flour and stir into roulades in the pan. Once the butter has melted and the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of the truffle and mushroom sauce. Pour the sauce over the roulades and serve.

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Filed under Florence, MU Journalism Abroad, Science ad Agricultual Journalism

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