Conchiglie with Veal, Kale, Portobello, and White Wine

Conchiglie with Veal, Kale, Portobello, and White Wine

So I had bought ground veal for my meatballs the other day, but when I realized I had paid ~$19/pound for the ground veal, I had a hard time using it for meatballs. So instead, I looked up other recipes to figure out how to do the veal/baby cow justice. Most recipes ended up with meatballs and some kind of casserole. I ended up getting fixated on this foodandwine’s recipe and so I made it today, with modifications of course…

The biggest difference being the use of shell pasta versus the hard to find orecchiette, adding in kale, portobello mushrooms, and red onion (instead of yellow). I also didn’t use 1.5 C chicken stock — instead, I used chicken fat to saute everything. Despite this dish having pasta, it is super light and bright with different textures and flavors going on, without any one being overpowering. It is pretty darn good if you’re looking for something that’s not going to make you have a food coma afterward! However, if I made this again, I’d add heavy cream for a more luscious and heavier “sauce.” Sometimes I do want that food coma… 😉 Below is my modified recipe:

Conchiglie with Veal, Kale, Portobello, and White Wine

12 oz conchiglie pasta (or any other small and short pasta)

1.6# ground veal

2 T capers, rinsed and drained

1 bunch of lacinato kale, de-ribbed and rough chopped

1 large portobello mushroom, diced

1 red onion, sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 T chicken fat

1 T chicken stock

1 T Rosemary, dried

1 T Thyme, dried

1 T Dry Mustard

1 T Garlic powder

1/2 C Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese (white wine — any shall do)

1/8 C Worcestershire

3 T unsalted butter

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/4 bunch of flat leaf parsley, rough chopped

2 pinches of lemon zest

1/2 C Pecorino Romano

Olive Oil, just enough to coat the cooked pasta

Black Pepper, to taste

Grains of Paradise, to taste

kosher salt, to taste



  1. Saute onions in chicken fat until soft. Add mushrooms and cook until caramelized. Add in chopped kale and cook until slightly wilted. Add salt, thyme, black pepper, and grains of paradise. Set ingredients aside in a mixing bowl.


  1. Bring a pot of water with salt to boil then add pasta to cook.
  2. Once pasta is cooked, transfer to a mixing bowl with olive oil, pecorino romano and black pepper to coat the pasta.


  1. Meanwhile, saute veal in chicken fat and add rosemary, thyme, black pepper, grains of paradise, and minced garlic until caramelized. Add white wine, lemon juice and worcestershire and reduce liquid. Add butter, capers, and lemon zest to round out sauce.


  1. Fold vegetables and cooked pasta back in with the veal.
  2. Portion the meal on plates and garnish with freshly chopped parsley, lemon zest, and pecorino romano.



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