Shanks Sicilian-Style: Costolette Siciliane

Total Time:
3 hr
1 hr 30 min
Inactive Prep:
45 min
45 min
6 servings


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 6 (2-inch) pieces osso buco (specific cut of veal shank)
  • 2/3 cup Sicilian olives (the green variety), pitted and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons capers, washed and drained
  • 4 peperoncini (marinated red peppers), well drained and chopped or roasted red peppers
  • 3 large ripe red tomatoes, cored, peeled, and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups Marsala
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat 1/2 cup of the olive oil. When hot, but not smoking, add the osso buco and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Transfer the shanks to a covered, heavy baking dish just large enough to hold the shanks comfortably. Set aside.

In the same pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the olives, capers, peppers, tomatoes, oregano, and sugar. Deglaze with the Marsala. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. If the mixture becomes too dry, add a teaspoonful or 2 of water.

Spoon equal amounts of the sauce over each shank. Cover and cook until the veal is very tender, about 45 minutes.