Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Veal Parmigiana

I love veal and now that veal crates are banned in the UK, I do not have to worry about eating it anymore. If you don’t live here, be sure to check that any veal you use is not crate raised (in some places, humanely-raised veal is marketed as Rose Veal). If there is any question, you can always use pork or turkey escalopes for this recipe instead.

Escalopes are the very thin pieces of meat that cook very quickly. I like to use matzo meal to bread the escalopes as it gives a fantastic crunchy coating, but feel free to use bread crumbs if you can’t find matzo meal at your local store.

This is a delicious meal that is ready in less than twenty minutes, but tastes like something really special. You can dress the pasta with tomato sauce, pesto, or even just a little butter and some herbs. I like to serve this dish with some broccoli or asparagus on the side.

4 veal escalopes (use pork or turkey if you prefer)
1/2 cup mild olive oil (suitable for frying)
1 egg, beaten in a medium bowl
2 good handfuls matzo meal (or bread crumbs)
1 handful of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
salt and pepper to taste
about 12 ounces of spaghetti, cooked in boiling water as per package instructions
warmed tomato sauce, pesto or butter, garlic and herbs to dress the spaghetti
4 lemon wedges for garnish

The veal will take very little time to cook, so make sure that your spaghetti is cooking as you perform these next steps.

Preheat the oven to a low heat so that you can keep the cooked escalopes warm while you finish cooking the rest. Have a large baking sheet ready.

Heat the oil in a large shallow frying pan until it is very hot (almost, but not quite smoking). Mix together the matzo meal, cheese and salt and pepper in a shallow plate. Have it ready beside the bowl with the beaten egg in it.

As you are about to cook each escalope (you may only be able to do one at a time), dip it in the egg and then the cheesy matzo meal. Pop it in the frying pan and fry for about a minute on each side until the breading is brown. Carefully remove the escalope from the frying pan and place on the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Repeat until all the escalopes are cooked.

Drain the spaghetti when it is cooked, dress it with your chosen sauce and warm through. Serve the dressed spaghetti alongside each escalope.

I like to garnish the cooked escalopes with a wedge of lemon which tastes delicious squeezed over top, but others in my family prefer ketchup!

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