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Venetian Tongue with Olive Sauce

“I can remember how we used to eat all the parts of the animal that nobody else wanted,” Francesco says. “Poor women would go to the butcher and ask for two pounds of lungs for the cat. They did not want to look cheap. But then they’d take it home, flour and fry it, and serve it for dinner.” It’s no wonder that a liver dish is considered a Venetian classic or that this deliciously savory tongue dish is also popular. The sauce is similar to a green sauce.

Ph. PaPisc on flickr (flic.kr/p/5vwCUh)

Tongue with Olive Sauce

  • 11 lbs (750 g) calves tongue
  • 8 large green olives (with pits)
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp anchovy paste (essence)
  • 125 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  1. Place the tongue in a saucepan, cover with water, and simmer it about 1 hour.
  2. Remove from the water, allow it to cool until it can be handled easily, then remove the skin with a sharp knife. Wrap the tongue in a cloth and set it aside.
  3. Pit the olives and chop them fine. They can be chopped in a food processor, but the texture will be better if they are chopped by hand. Mix the olives with the lemon juice, anchovy paste, and bread crumbs, then gradually beat in the oil. Fold in the parsley.
  4. Slice the tongue thin and serve it at room temperature with the sauce on the side

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