The Real Veal

Veal Parmigniana
Broccoli Pasta Fall Back

veal.jpg

I don’t seek out veal, but I was shopping at Golden Gate Meats and there were these marvelous looking veal scaloppini staring at me from under the glass, my mouth watered at the thought of Veal alla Parmigiana. There was something about them that just cried out, “Parmigiana!”

I’ve never cooked it, to my recollection, but on a first visit to any “red Italian” restaurant, that’s what I’ll order, reasoning that if they make a great Veal alla Parmigniana, their other dishes might be good. With this veal, how could I go wrong?

I’ve cooked veal chops, made Osso Buco and bought veal bones for stock. I know that veal is the subject of some controversy among the animal rights folks. I too espouse the humane treatment of animals raised for food. Since I live in place with many superb and convenient farmers markets, and where even in the supermarkets all food doesn’t come wrapped in packages, I can rely on my rule with regard to organic/sustainability/good food issues, “know from whom you are buying.”

Having never cooked the dish, I didn’t have a recipe, but how hard could it be? I know what to do with a scaloppini, or cutlet, pound, dip in egg, dredge in bread crumbs and sauté, but this veal was so fine and so evenly cut, pounding was not necessary. Melted cheese and tomato sauce are the only other major ingredients.
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I Googled Veal Parmigiana and was guided to the Contadina folks, makers of tomato products. Surprise! They have a recipe for Veal Parmesan. Couldn’t be simpler, and it fit the memories of dishes I have known.

I didn’t happen to have any Contadina products in my cupboard, so I used my San Marzano tomato sauce that I make each autumn and freeze for use until the next tomato season.

Veal Parmesan
Contadina Recipe 3.07

3 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 can (8 oz.) CONTADINA Tomato Sauce
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1 egg
1/2 cup CONTADINA Unseasoned Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup (1 oz.) grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. thin veal cutlets
4 oz. thinly sliced mozzarella cheese

Directions
1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomato sauce and oregano. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low. Cook 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through; keep warm.

2. Place egg in shallow dish; beat lightly. Combine crumbs and Parmesan in separate shallow dish. Dip veal in egg; coat with crumb mixture.

3. Heat remaining oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add veal; cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Place veal in 13×9-inch baking dish, cover with mozzarella.

4. Bake in preheated 350 ºF oven, 5 to 6 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve sauce over veal.

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Pasta should accompany such a dish and a green vegetable would make a nice contrast, so I went with the easy Broccoli Pasta Fall Back, borrowed from an eGullet blog by Julia Wiley (chardgirl), an owner of Mariquita Farm, the farm of my tomato sauce.

broccoli pasta fall back
adapted from Julia’s blog 12/05

1/2 pound pasta (with this standby semi-emergency recipe nearly any shape will do)
1/2 pound broccoli di cicco, or other sprouting broccoli, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped

Put the water on to boil. Chop garlic and broccoli.

Get out whatever pasta you have on hand, I had thin spaghetti.

Cook pasta. Three minutes before you deem the pasta done, dump the broccoli into the cooking pasta.

Drain the pasta/broccoli mixture and put back in warm pot. Add raw chopped garlic and toss with olive oil, S & P.

Serve and garnish with grated parmesan and red pepper flakes.

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