Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Boiled veal tongue with Italian sauces
( Lingua in salsa verde )

Authentic Italian recipes

Veal tongue accompanied with Italian salsa verde (green sauce or bagnetto) is a very tasty main dish that in some cases can be served as a starter, but be careful ... in much smaller portions. The recipe is very simple to do. Veal tongue is boiled and then sliced. Serve it hot or cold with mustard-flavored sauce or salsa verde or no-garlic green sauce. Pair a red wine of Piedmont.

difficulty: easy

time: 1h 40 minutes

calories: 387 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 6

  • 1kg (2.2 pounds) veal tongue
  • 1 carrot, peeled and washed
  • 1 little onion, peeled
  • 1 stick of celery, washed
  • Vinegar, if you like
  • Salt
easy recipe
preparation: 10 minutes
cooking: 90 minutes
total: 1h 40 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 387 (kcal) 20 % - 1618 (kJ)
Protein: 28.5 (g) 57 % GDA
Total fat: 30.0 (g) 43 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 0.7 (g) 1 % GDA
Sugars: 0.7 (g) 1 % GDA

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Recipe for boiled veal tongue accompanied by sauces

Preparation and cooking

Veal tongue, more tender than beef one, needs a long and accurate preparation and cooking.
The best thing is to plunge it in cold water from 2 to 12 hours. You have to change water many times.
Then you have to simmer it for about 90 minutes in a large saucepan, half-covered.
But you can also use a pressure cooker; in this case cooking time is 40 to 45 minutes.

  • - Boil veal tongue.
    Put your tongue in a large saucepan with carrot, onion and celery.
    If you like, you can add 2 tablespoons vinegar.
    Season to taste with salt and bring to a boil over a fierce heat.
    Then reduce heat and continue cooking, half-covered, until tender.
  • - Meanwhile prepare your preferred sauce.
    You can use salsa verde (green sauce) or, if you don't like garlic, no-garlic green sauce or mustard-flavored sauce. All links below!
  • - The last step.
    Let your boiled tongue cool in its cooking water.
    Then remove its peel and cut into thin slices.
    I don't usually use its broth because fat (tongue is rich in cholesterol) and not tasty.

Just before serving

  • - You can serve your boiled tongue hot or cold.
  • - If served cold.
    Arrange all tongue slices on a serving platter and cover with your sauce.
    Let it rest some hours in order the meat flavor.
  • - If served warm.
    Accompany your tongue slices arranged in a serving plate with sauces put in gravy boats.
    Every guest will serve himself according to his own taste.



  • - It's a very tasty dish that you can prepare in advance.
  • - In the same way I usually boil veal tongue when, at Christmas, I prepare boiled meats. In fact tongue should always be cooked separately.

Menu planning

  • - You can serve it as an appetizer or a main dish accompanied with boiled potatoes.
    Use it for tasty sandwiches too.
  • - As an appetizer. Combine this tongue dish with boiled eggs, slices of salami in fat, stuffed peppers ... It isn't certainly a light appetizer so be careful with the other courses of your menu. My tip is fresh stuffed pasta and pot roast. Fresh pasta can be dressed with pot roast gravy. Delicious! Choose ravioli or agnolotti from Piedmont. The difference lies in their filling as you can read in recpe ingredients and directions. Pot roast can be done with your favorite meat. Consult our index of meat for some ideas.
  • - As a second course. Here's a menu idea.
    Starter: Italian finger food or crostini or canapes to be served with aperitif (Italian aperitivo)
    First course: tortellini in broth (choose good-quality tortellini e let them cook in meat broth)
    Second course: tongue with sauces accompanied by boiled potatoes.
    Dessert: don't choose a cake with custard or whipped cream or ricotta. The best sweet? a dry cake or cookies such as Italian cantuccini with Vin Santo

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - I calculated the nutrition facts (calories, fat, protein ...) of this tongue recipe without sauce ingredients that is for the only boiled tongue. In fact it's very difficult to calculate the nutrition facts of salsa verde. It depends on the amount of olive oil that can vary very much according to the different versions.
    But look carefully at calories, fat and protein of boiled tongue. It's a dish very rich in protein, calories and fat anyway.
    Italian coobooks suggest 1kg (2.2 pounds) of tongue to be boiled per six persons. There are chefs that suggest 1kg (2,2 pounds) only for four people.
    But the doses recommended by nutritionists actually stop to 100g (3 1/2 ounces) per head. So it would be more correct to boil 600g ( 1 1/3 pound) tongue per six people and perhaps cut it into very thin slices. In this case the data change drastically. Here they are:
    calories 232 kcal (971 kJ)
    protein 17.1g
    total fat 18.0g
    carbohydrates 0.4g
    sugars 0.4g
  • - Be careful: boiled veal tongue accompanied by salsa verde is a dish not recommended for those who must follow a diet low in cholesterol!


What's the right wine for " Boiled veal tongue with Italian sauces "?

My husband and I generally pair red wines of Piedmont with veal tongue with sauces: Barbera d'Alba or Grignolino. They are perfect for suggested menus too.