Coda is short for ‘Coda alla vaccinara’, i.e. oxtail stew (see an earlier post I wrote about it earlier this year in April). I bought a small batch of the tail of the animal, that the butcher had already cut into chunks, with the intention of cooking it to use as a pasta sauce. I changed my mind as is my wont when I feel I am in need of revivification (‘a change is as good as a rest’) and thought to myself, “Who says one has to make only large quantities of coda?” and hence the following recipe and title “Coda for Two”, i.e. enough for two people with a healthy appetite.
First of all, I rinsed the meat several times and then let it boil/simmer in plenty of water for a good 40 minutes in order to tenderise it.
Remove the scum by and by using a slatted spoon or even a small colander.
And then slather a lot of tomato sauce (passata di pomodoro) or roughly chopped plum tomatoes or even fresh tomatoes all over the meat and veggies that are so snug-as-a-bug-in-an-earthenware-rug. Sprinkle some salt and pepper.
Blend everything well, put the lid back on and cook for a further quarter of an hour.
While the cooking reaches its end, toast a handful of pine kernels (careful, keep an eye on them, they can burn easily).
Garnish the dish with the tenderest of celery leaves. And serve …
You’ll need plenty of crusty bread to mop up the sauce … and you may even have to ‘gnaw’ on the knuckles to get at all the meat that a knife and fork can’t cope with. Coda does not make for elegant table manners … but who cares? You can always wash your hands afterwards!