Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Vitello alla Parmigiana e Rotelle

This recipe is the authentic traditional veal parmesan that is cooked in Parma, Italy.  The flavor is elegant and so very great!  Everybody knows what the American bastardized version of Veal Parmesan is.  Breaded veal cutlet with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella.  An all time low for veal parmesan happened when American chefs started serving frozen breaded veal patties as veal parmesan.
     I have mentioned in my past blogs that I worked in a great Northern Regional Italian fine dining restaurant.  The manager was a Catholic Monk from Italy.  Our food was absolutely authentic Italian!  We cooked to a higher standard, if you know what I mean.  The manager was also an expert Kung Fu instructor.  As a chef, you really did not want to make mistakes due to the Italian undercurrent threat of "Bad Things May Happen!".  
     This recipe was the classic, authentic Vitello Parmagiana that we had on our menu.  We served the parmagiana with a little bit of nice pasta.  Forget about the American parm recipe when making this classic dish!  There are no similarities.
     Recipe:  Pound a large veal cutlet thin and even with the flat side of a mallet or a wine bottle. 
     Place a couple thin slices of imported Parma prosciutto on one half of the cutlet. 
     Place a few thin slices of parmesan cheese on the prosciutto. 
     Lay 2 to 3 fresh sage leaves across the cheese. 
     Fold the half of the veal with nothing on it over the stuffed half. 
     Lightly tap the edges of the veal to seal the stuffed cutlet together.
     Gently dredge the stuffed veal in flour. 
     Dredge the veal in egg wash. 
     Dredge the veal in fine plain bread crumbs.
     Heat a generous splash of blended olive oil over medium high heat in a saute pan. 
     Pan fry both sides of the veal till it becomes a light golden color. 
     Set the stuffed fried veal on a roasting rack on a baking pan. 
     Bake in a 350 degree oven till the stuffing is cooked and the veal breading turns golden brown.
     Parmigiana Sauce:  Saute a minced garlic clove and a couple pinches of minced shallot with a small splash of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. 
     Saute till the garlic turns a golden color. 
     Add about 5 ounces of imported canned Italian crushed plum tomatoes. 
     Add a splash of dry red wine wine. 
     Add a splash of rich veal stock. 
     Add a small splash of virgin olive oil. 
     Add sea salt and black pepper. 
     Add a pinch each of basil , thyme, chopped fresh sage leaves and chopped fresh Italian flat parsley.
     Reduce the parmagiana sauce till it becomes a medium thickness.
     Assembly:  Spoon some of the sauce on a plate for a bed for the veal. 
     Set the veal parmagiana on top. 
     Spoon some of the sauce over one end of the veal. 
     Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over the sauce that is on one end of the veal.
     Add a small portion of al dente cooked rotelle pasta (wagon wheel pasta) to the remaining parmagiana sauce in the pan. 
     Add a little bit of grated parmesan cheese and toss the sauce and pasta together. 
     Set the pasta next to the veal and sprinkle a little more parmesan cheese on the pasta.
     Garnish with sage sprigs and Italian flat parsley sprigs.
     This authentic veal parmagiana recipe is so very delicious!  The flavor of fresh sage and prosciutto is so great with parmesan cheese and veal.  The sauce is specifically made for this recipe.  The veal stock, tomato and sage flavors are sharply present.  Rotelle pasta was my choice for today but traditionally this recipe is served with fettuccine or capellini pasta.  Rotelle does pick the sauce up well.
     Keep this Italian recipe in mind when you see an American veal parmesan.  I do believe the American version is a true "rip off" compared to the Italian recipe.  I learned some great techniques and recipes while working for that Italian Monk.  He described my cooking as heavenly!  That was a great compliment for an American chef.  I respected Italian cooking tradition.  That is the first thing an Italian wants to see in an apprenticing chef before teaching Italian Cucina.  There is nothing like having the real thing!  Yum!  Ciao Baby!  ... Shawna

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