Italian immigrants brought this dish to America, and since then veal parmigiana has become a classic New York dish, and rightly so. I love it when it’s layered up like this, with the tomato sauce and cheese, then baked in the oven to gratinate. Feel free to swap veal for pork leg or even chicken that’s been battered out. If you want to spike this with a bit of extra flavour you could also add a few capers or olives to the tomato sauce.
- Few sprigs fresh basil
- Olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- 3 anchovies
- 1 fresh red chili
- Sea salt
- 28 oz chopped tomatoes
- freshly ground black pepper
- 7 0z fresh breadcrumbs
- Few sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon
- 1 Cup Flour
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 lb Veal or pork leg, flattened to a thickness of 3/4 inch
- 6 oz ball of buffalo mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- Meanwhile, prepare your meat. Mix the breadcrumbs in a bowl with the thyme leaves and Parmesan. Finely grate your lemon zest into the breadcrumbs, mix again, then lay out three plates in front of you.
- Put the flour on one and season it with salt and pepper, pour the eggs on to the next plate and put the herby breadcrumbs on the third.
- Dip the meat, one at a time, into the flour until well coated. Shake off any excess, then dip into the egg. Let the extra egg drip off, then lay the meat in the breadcrumb mixture. Sprinkle a handful of crumbs over the top and press them down. Make a real point of getting breadcrumbs on to every part of the meat.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a good splash of olive oil. Let it heat up a bit, then add your meat. If your pan isn't big enough, you may have to cook them in batches, adding a little extra oil if needed.
- Cook for a few minutes on each side until lightly golden, then transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain.
- Using an 8×11 sized baking dish spread the tomato sauce in the dish. Lay your meat on top, side by side. Tear the buffalo mozzarella into pieces and dot these over the dish with a few basil leaves.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden, bubbling and deliciously cooked. Sprinkle the rest of the basil leaves over.
- Perfect with a crunchy zingy salad, but in America they'd also serve it with things like spaghetti, rice or mashed potatoes, polenta or crusty bread.