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Photo: Jenny Zarins
Russell Norman's recent cookbook release, Polpo, may be named for his London restaurant (which is named after Italian octopus), but there are many more recipes to be had. We were compelled to try out a recipe which combines creamy, earthy saffron risotto with the classic slow-braised veal shanks known as osso buco.

Russell Norman’s recently published cookbook, Polpo, may be named for his London restaurant (which is named after the Italian word for octopus), but there are many more recipes to be had. We were compelled to try out a recipe that combines creamy, earthy saffron risotto with the classic slow-braised veal shanks known as osso buco.

Osso buco means “bone hole” – not particularly appetizing as a description but very accurate; there is a bone in the middle with a hole in it. If you’re very lucky, you get a big wobbly piece of marrow to suck out at the end of your feast. It is by no means Venetian and originates from the region of Lombardy, but since it is a dish with such wide appeal, it appears all over Italy.

Reprinted with permission from POLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts)