Vitello con Melanzane

An unusual and delicious Italian dish, Vitello con Melanzane (vee-tehl-oh kon meh-lahn-zah-ney) may be served with mashed potatoes and a mixed salad.

10 fl. oz. olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed

14 oz. canned peeled tomatoes

6 stuffed olives, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano or

2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

2 medium-sized aubergines , trimmed, sliced and degorged

1 oz. seasoned flour, made with

1 oz. flour,

1 teaspoon salt and

1 teaspoon black pepper egg, lightly beaten

1 oz. dry breadcrumbs

4 veal escalopes, pounded thin and cut into

4-inch pieces

2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

In a medium-sized saucepan, heat

2 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for

5 to

7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Add the tomatoes with the can juice, the olives and oregano and stir well to mix. Bring the liquid to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for

20 minutes.

Meanwhile, dip the aubergine slices in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.

In a large frying-pan, heat 3 fluid ounces of the remaining oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add half the aubergine slices and cook them for 3 minutes on each side or until they are lightly browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer the aubergine slices to a plate. Set aside while you cook the remaining aubergine slices adding another 3 fluid ounces of the oil. Remove the pan from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Place the beaten egg on one plate and the breadcrumbs on another. Dip the escalope pieces, first in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs, coating them thor-oughly and shaking off any excess.

Add the remaining oil to the frying-pan and return the pan to moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the veal pieces to the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until they are lightly and evenly browned. Remove the pan from the heat and, with a slotted spoon, transfer the veal pieces to a plate.

Arrange half the veal pieces on the bottom of a large ovenproof casserole. Cover with half the aubergine slices. Top with the remaining veal pieces and the remaining aubergine slices. Pour over the tomato sauce and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top. Place the casserole in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbling and the veal is tender.

Remove the casserole from the heat and serve the mixture at once, straight from the casserole.

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