Veal Scaloppine Bolognese
Scaloppine di Vitello alla Bolognese

serves: 6

This traditional casserole of veal scaloppine is simple and simply delicious, with a multitude of harmonious flavors and textures. The scaloppine are quickly fried, then layered in the pan to bake, moistened with an intense prosciutto-Marsala sauce, and topped by a delicate gratinato of Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano. And though veal is customary, scaloppine of chicken breast, turkey breast, or even pork would be excellent prepared this way. The first step, of frying the meat, can be done in advance, but I recommend that you assemble and bake the casserole just before serving: reheating will toughen the gratinato and accentuate the saltiness of the prosciutto.

ingredients
12 veal scallops, 2 to 3 ounces each
½ teaspoon kosher salt
all-purpose flour for dredging, (1 cup or more)
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons butter
3 ounce prosciutto, thinly sliced, cut in 1/4-inch strips
½ cup dry Marsala
½ cup dry whie wine
1 cup hot light stock, (chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth) or water
5 ounce chunk of Grana Padano, or Parmigiano-Reggiano

directions


Heat the oven to 400º and arrange a rack in the middle.

Flatten the veal scallops into scaloppine, one at a time. Place a scallop between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap, and pound it with the toothed face of a meat mallet, tenderizing and spreading it into a thin oval, about 1/4 inch thick. The pieces will vary in size.

Season the scaloppine with salt on both sides, using about 1/2 teaspoon in all. Spread the flour on a plate and dredge each scallop, coating both sides with flour. Shake off the excess and lay them down, spread apart, on wax paper. Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt in a wide shallow bowl.

Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil and drop 3 tablespoons of butter into the big sauté pan, and set over medium-high heat. When the butter begins to bubble, quickly dip scallops, one by one, in the eggs, let the excess drip off, then lay them in the skillet. Fit in as many scallops as you can in one layer-about the half the veal.

Brown the scallops on one side for about a minute, then flip and brown the second side for a minute. Turn them in the order in which they went into the skillet, and then transfer them to a plate. Remove any burnt bits from the skillet, and pour in the remaining olive oil; dip the remaining scallops in egg, and brown them the same way. (If your skillet is not big enough, it is fine to fry the veal in three batches.)

When all the scaloppine are browned, arrange them in the baking pan, overlapping them so they fill the dish in an even layer.

To make the Marsala sauce: Wipe out the skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in it, and set over medium heat. Scatter in the prosciutto strips, and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes or longer, until crisped on the edges. Pour in the Marsala and white wine at the same time, raise the heat, and bring to a rapid boil. Cook until the wines are reduced by half, then pour in the stock, heat to the boil, and cook for a couple of minutes more, stirring, until the sauce has amalgamated and thickened slightly.

Remove the pan from the heat, scoop out the prosciutto strips, and scatter them over the scaloppini in the baking dish, then pour the sauce all over the meat, moistening the scaloppine evenly.

To make the gratinato: shave the chunk of Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano with a vegetable peeler, dropping thin wide flakes of cheese over scaloppini, lightly covering them.

Set the baking dish in the oven, and bake for 20 minutes or so, until the gratinato is nicely browned and very crisp (rotate the dish in the oven to ensure even coloring).

Remove the dish from the oven and, with a sharp knife or a spatula, cut around the scaloppine and lift them out, one or two at a time, with the topping intact, onto a platter or dinner plates. Drizzle the pan sauce around the scaloppine-not on top-and serve immediately.