Veal Parmigiana is a dish made in the style of cuisine originating in southern Italy. It consists of a slice of veal cut or minced until it is thin and fried in a frying pan, after which it is coated with tomato sauce and cheese and baked in the oven until ready. A more popular version of veal parmigiana outside of Italy involves coating the veal in flour or flour and breadcrumbs before frying to help create a crunchier topping. The ready dish can be served alone, with a small pile of pasta, or made into a sandwich or Italian bread.
Parmesan is a hard, aged cheese that can be served with veal parmigiana.
The veal must first be thin if we want to make veal parmigiana. If the cut is not thin enough, it can first be cut in the center on the thin edge, but not all the way, so that the cut opens like a book. The meat is then placed between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper and gently tapped with a heavy, blunt object so that it is of a single consistent thickness all the way. It is important to beat from the center of the meat towards the edges to avoid tearing it into pieces.
While the original veal parmigiana recipes did not involve breading the meat, most popular modern versions do. Lightly dusting the veal with flour on both sides is the simplest way to help form a crust. Full coverage, however, requires dipping the veal in flour and then in a liquid such as egg, milk or water before placing the wet meat in a breadcrumb mixture. Bread crumbs can be seasoned with Italian herbs or have some Parmesan or Roman cheese mixed in.
The veal parmigiana chops are placed in a pan with hot oil and browned on each side. The goal is not necessarily to cook the meat all the way through, but to brown the outside and form a crust. Some healthier recipes place the veal on a roasting pan and then bake it in a hot oven, relying on the dry heat to brown the outside.
The final step in making veal parmigiana is to place it in an oven-safe dish and cover it with tomato sauce. The exact type and amount will vary depending on taste. The cheese is placed on top of the tomato sauce, especially on top of the chops. Mozzarella is often seen, although any other type that melts can be used. The dish is placed in the oven and cooked until the veal has finished cooking, the sauce is hot and the cheese has melted.