Pasta with Tomato Veal Sauce

One of the things you must, must, must have in your arsenal of recipes are ones that you can make for company…and that don’t have you slaving in the kitchen for hours, or worrying about whether or not they are going to come out okay.  Welcome to one of those recipes. 

For me, the reason for having folks over is to spend time with them, and while I am perfectly happy to have them hang out in my kitchen with me while some of the cooking is going on, I also love sitting down with them in the living room or the back yard or wherever the case may be, laughing and talking and having a glass of wine without fretting over an exotic dinner.  If you are in the kitchen the whole time, you miss things.  Like when your parents and your aunts and uncles hear a song they like and start dancing on your patio.


If you are in the kitchen, you might miss the chance to hold a baby with a bow on his head.

Or miss seeing someone use the water in the beer barrel to cool down his tootsies.

It’s the little things in life, and I don’t want to miss ’em.  And at the same time, I want to give folks a dinner that tastes special.  And this is one of my recipes that lets me do that – a fabulous, creamy veal sauce that takes no time to make, but is still different and scrumptious and a little special.  Make sure you get a nice short pasta that will hold the sauce nicely…pennaeor rotini or bow-tie pasta will all work.  My current fave (and the one in the picture) is campanelle…Barilla makes this, if you have that  brand in your supermarket.  The sauce itself will cook up in just a little longer than the pasta itself.   You use ground veal, which you brown up with some chopped scallions…then add in some canned diced tomatoes (I love the Muir Glen brand), some cream, some white wine and some tomato paste and simmer it all up until it thickens just a little.  Toss it with the pasta, grind some fresh pepper on top and voila!  Easy, elegant dinner entree.  Add one easy salad, one easy dessert (click here for my favorite dinner party dessert!) and you are free to take goofy pictures with your brothers and sister in the back yard.

I know, we are simply too cool for our own good.  What can I say?  Other than, here’s the recipe!

Penne with Tomato Veal Sauce
Serves: 4 generous servings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 14 ounce canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 12 ounces campanelle or other short pasta (penne, rotini, etc)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in large skillet. Add veal and ¾ cups scallions and cook until veal is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, cream and tomato paste to skillet, stir and then simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Keep simmering another two minutes until pasta is hot and coated in sauce.
  5. Taste, season as needed with salt and pepper, transfer to plates and garnish with remaining scallions and parmesan cheese.


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  1. says

    There’s nothing I hate more than stressing over what to cook/what’s cooking when I have people over. I want it to be easy peasy delicious! And this is definitely that.

  2. says

    I love people who know good food when the taste it, and who aren’t ashamed to jump up and dance in the yard when a song they like comes on!! :-) Great photos…and a great looking recipe!

  3. says

    Love the terrific new design, Kate! And as always, lovely photos and a snappy, fun read. Oh, and the pasta recipe looks pretty awesome too!

    • Kate says

      Thank you! I’m super happy with it (and here’s a shout out to Desperately Seeking WordPress, who did all the hard work on it. 😀

  4. says

    All my recipes have to be quick because of not managing to get into the kitchen after work and exercise until 7.30pm so I am very pleased to find your pasta recipe. I have just printed it and will cook it tomorrow night. If it is a success, I will feature it on my blog and give you the credit, of course.

  5. ruthie says

    Have you tried Barilla’s mini/piccolino penne and farfale? The regular size are a little too doughy for my preferences, but these little ones do the job and are a lighter mouthful. Plus, smaller pieces, means more sauce per bite! Win-win. When I was teaching we called a sauce like this, with cream and tomatoes, rosseggiando, (hope I spelled that right) which means blushing, because it’s nice blush pink. 😉 That’s not an authentic culinary term, just what we used, but I like it.

  6. Joyce says

    I can’t wait to make this! I’ve got the ground veal and the scallions and the tomatoes (got to get me some muir glen) and will pick up the cream tomorrow….and how did I run out of olive oil?

    But the pasta in the photo looks like penne, not the curly little fluted campanelle (sp) that my store sells. But penne looks good too!

    Thanks for all your wonderful recipies. You are my ‘go-to’ food blog for great easy ideas.

    • Kate says

      Well, you are absolutely right – they ARE penne. I guess I just make so much pasta that I lose track of what is what. Whatever you end up using I hope you love it as much as I do!

      • Joyce says

        Oh, it was just lovely! I didn’t have Muir Glen tomatoes…but went out and ordered a case of the fire roasted ones. When I made this, I only used one can of my very pedestrian diced tomatoes, but now that I have the Muir Glen ones….I’ll doctor up the original…my original…version with these, so we’ll see how that goes.

        I think you mentioned campanelle in another recipe, and once I tried, I was hooked. They are such cute little things, and just suck up the wonderfulness of a recipe like this.

        Thank you Kate!

      • Joyce says

        Well, the Muir Glen tomatoes made ALL the difference! I added some white whine on a whim. Did I say Whine? I meant Wine.

        This sauce is as amazing as you suggested. Thanks for you!

        • Joyce says

          I couldn’t help but remember your tomato butter sauce, so I added a couple of TBs of butter. Is that wrong?

          I do love experimenting, and combining your recipes is, at the very least, interesting.

          Thanks again.

          • Kate says

            Yes, Muir Glens are the BEST! And adding butter is perfectly okay…that butter sauce is one of my top favorite recipes of all time. Experiment away – you never know! :)

  7. Jacqueline Wooley says

    This dish looked good but tasted even better! Even my picky husband loved it! I highly recommend it and its a quick fix dinner too!

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