La Vera Cucina

Vitello Alla Ragosta

Born in Sicily, restaurateur Joe Ventrice learned to cook from his grandmother. At his cozy Bluffton, SC, ristorante Dolce Vita, Joe satisfies regulars with hand-made pastas and other hearty, home-style cooking.

Here, Joe shares a customer favorite, Vitello alla Ragosta, featuring delicate veal over a bed of house-made roasted red pepper fettuccine tossed with fresh lobster!

Vitello alla Ragosta


  • 6 ounces milk-fed veal scaloppini
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons fresh extra virgin olive oil
  • ¹³ cup shallots (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • ¹³ cup fresh basil leaves (julienned)
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces freshly cooked lobster (claws and knuckles)
  • freshly cooked red pepper fettuccine



Over medium high flame, heat two tablespoons olive oil. Salt, pepper, then lightly flour scaloppini; shake off excess. Sauté quickly until lightly brown on both sides. Remove veal from pan and set aside. Add shallots to pan, add more olive oil if necessary, and sauté until shallots begin changing color. Add brandy to deglaze the pan and flame off alcohol. Add basil and heat briefly until basil begins to darken. Add heavy cream and heat until slightly thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in freshly cooked fettuccine and lobster. Plate lobster pasta and top with warm veal. Serve immediately.


Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine


  • 2 cups semolina
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ to ¾ cup water
  • 3 ounces roasted red pepper paste (see below)



Mix dry ingredients; mound in large mixing bowl. Form well in center of mound. Slowly add water; use fork to mix in flour from sides of well. Next, fold-in roasted red pepper paste. Knead dough for 15 minutes until uniformly smooth and moist to the touch. Adjust moisture by adding semolina or water as needed. Cover in plastic wrap and let rest for an hour. Roll out dough with rolling pin or pasta machine to ¹⁄8” thickness. Cut lengthwise into ¼” wide fettuccine strips. Dust with semolina to prevent sticking together. Cook in boiling salted water until al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes.


Roasted Red Pepper Paste


  • 8 ounces sweet red bell pepper (about 2 peppers)



Wash and halve peppers; remove seeds and pith. Roast peppers over flame until charred. Remove from heat to cool. Remove and discard charred skins. Cut peppers into strips. Leave in warm oven overnight with door ajar to allow moisture to escape. Then use food processor to grind dried peppers into a uniform paste.


About Pasta Fresca

During our recent trip to Italy, our family joined cousins in touring a farm/winery/restaurant. There, we made fresh pasta together and then enjoyed it at a big family dinner. Making and customizing your own pasta fresca, like Joe Ventrice does with roasted red pepper paste, takes a bit of time. But it gives Independents another flavorful opportunity to stand out from the crowd!