Coda Alla Vaccinara

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Submitted by Scientastic

Fettuccine pomodoro con coda alla vaccinara

I managed to bore the entire party at this point by telling them all about the origins of coda alla vaccinara. Apparently, in ancient Rome, butchers were paid in offal and the dish has survived in various forms into modern times. Traditionally, it is made with oxtail, but I decided to vary it slightly, by using osso bucco and some kidney.

Coda alla Vaccinare Mise 2.jpg


  • 1kg osso bucco
  • 250g kidney (ideally beef)
  • 8 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 tomatoes, roasted, peeled and chopped
  • 150g pancetta, chopped
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ bottle dry red wine
  • 2 cans tomatoes
  • 5 cloves
  • Pinch of mixed spice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500g tomato fettucini


To begin with, prep your kidneys. These are pretty horrible to deal with, but definitely worth the bother. Start off by removing the tough white core:


Then dice and soak in brine for at least 30m. After this, pat dry and dust with flour. Sear the osso bucco and kidneys on all sides until nice and brown. Prepare a soffritto, the Italian version of mirepoix, by chopping the celery, onions, carrots and garlic.

Soffritto 1.jpg

Fry the soffritto and the pancetta in the juices and oil from the browning of the meat until soft, stir in a little tomato puree and add the wine. More wine than that. No, way more. Seriously, you’ll need more than half the bottle.

Adding wine.jpg

Add the herbs and tomatoes, and put the osso bucco into the pan. Simmer with the lid on for 2h, after which you should removed the meat and continue to simmer with the lid off. Once the meat is cool enough to handle, strip it from the bones and add back in. Also push the marrow from the bones out and add that, along with the kidneys. Cook for a further hour. Serve over tomato fettucini with freshly grated parmesan and chopped parsley.

Vaccinara Plated 2.jpg

I thought this was the best dish of the day, but sadly some of my guests thought otherwise. Apparently, the osso bucco was delicious, but the fussy eater and the girls all hated the kidney. If I were less of a contrary bastard, I would have left the kidneys out once I decided to invite friends round, but I like kidneys, so everyone else should too! As it was, people left their kidneys on the side and I forked them away onto my own plate extremely skilfully.