Cassola (cassoeula)

This was another specialty of our house, from the Lombard side of the family. I make it sometimes, but never as good as my mother did.

Savoy cabbage is available in supermarkets for most of the year nowadays, but our family tradition is that the savoy cabbage is best after the first frost of fall.

Apparently, the real Italian recipes call for using pig’s foot, pork sausage, pork rind, and even ears and tails, but we just use (pork) spare ribs.


A few tbs. olive oil, just enough to start the browning process
1 small onion, diced
6 lbs. pork ribs
5 lbs. savoy cabbage, cut up
3 carrots, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste


Brown the spare ribs, onions and carrots in a large pot. When browned, remove the ribs and “drain” them on paper towels to get rid of some of the fat, if you wish. Put them back in the pot and add the cabbage, a bit of a time if there is too much cabbage for the pot. Cook until the meat starts to come off the bone. Cook with cover on unless there is too much liquid in the bottom of the pot. If that happens, uncover the pot to boil some liquid off, or you can remove some of the liquid with a spoon. If you wish to remove some of the fat, you can skim that off, too.

Tips: Some people add 1-2 tbsp. of vinegar in the last 15 min. of cooking. (I have never done that.)

You can add celery (1-2 stalks, diced) and some diced tomatoes if desired.

Serve with polenta, with bread, or just “as is”.


Veal Scallopine


Thin slices of veal
Some flour
Olive oil to coat the fry pan (a few tbsp. or so)
2 tbs. butter
¼ cup white wine (more as needed)
A few capers


Flour thin slices of veal, fry in the oil on both sides, for 2-3 minutes. Then set the meat aside in a dish. Add the white wine to the oil in the pan. Then add a few capers and the butter. Heat this mixture thoroughly and serve it over the veal.


Veal Marsala

Slices of veal, cut into small pieces
Butter and olive oil for frying
Enough flour to cover the veal
½ glass marsala (or white wine)
Salt and pepper to taste


Flour the veal, then brown it (both sides) in the oil and butter. When browned, add the wine (you may also add 1/8 glass of water if the wine seems too strong). The meat should float on the wine mixture, but not be covered by it. Cook a bit until the meat is thoroughly browned, shut off the gas, cover the pan and keep it on the burner for about 5 minutes. Serve.


Mary Mazzer’s Sausage and Chicken Stew

This is a family favorite from Maria C. (Mary) Mazzer, especially for family gatherings. Her father, Vito, was born in Altamura, Italy. Her mother, Lucille, was of Portuguese and Sicilian descent.


Olive oil
Sweet sausage links
(Chicken pieces (thighs are recommended)
Onions, sliced
Red potatoes, cut in chunks
Fire roasted diced tomatoes (canned)
Canned peas
Canned sliced mushrooms
Artichoke hearts (NOT marinated)
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
1 bottle of white wine

Crusty bread and parmegiano reggiano, for serving


I’ll leave the directions to Mary, as follows.

I can’t really give quantities, but you can’t go wrong!
Use your largest deep oven roasting pan. Add olive oil to the bottom. Place sweet sausage links on the bottom. Add chicken pieces (my family prefers thighs and I always remove the skin first). Sliced onions and chunked red potatoes (or whatever you prefer – I leave the skins on) go next. The rest of the ingredients come from cans! Layer fire roasted diced tomatoes, peas (with the liquid), sliced mushrooms (without the liquid), and quartered artichoke hearts (not the marinated ones – without the liquid). Add garlic powder and Italian seasoning as per your preference. Add a bottle of white wine to the whole thing (nothing too dry or expensive – just a decent white) – I fill the pan til I can just see the wine coming up the side but it pretty much takes the whole thing, with maybe a sip left over for you (if you plan right!). Cover the whole thing tightly with aluminum foil and place in a 350 degree oven. Depending on the amount you’ve created, plan on a couple of hours – when I make this, I can barely lift the roasting pan, so it takes a while. I judge doneness by the smell – you’ll know what I mean – the scent melds so that you can’t pick out any one ingredient anymore. The chicken and sausage can be brought up to the top for a few extra minutes of uncovered cooking to let them brown a bit. The potatoes should be ‘forkable’ but not too mushy. The chicken may be off the bone by then so be careful when serving. I like to serve this with a hearty, crusty bread and a chunk of parmagiano reggiano. It could easily go with polenta instead of the bread. This is great, hearty, peasant food – good for a large gathering, especially in the winter. (Also makes great left-overs. I have frozen it but the potatoes don’t do as well.)

2 thoughts on “Meat

  1. Wendy – you
    did a fantastic job! I remember my dad use to wrap the musette in a cheesecloth towel and boil the fat out of it…

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