Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Breaded Pork Parmesan

Yum

I love almost all pork dishes, but this one is especially wonderful!  A complete twist on the traditional veal or chicken Parmesan, this recipe uses thinly sliced pork scallopini (available at most grocery stores) and they are super-versatile.  Quick to cook, nice and tender, very low-fat, they are my #1 choice when cooking this dish.

What is a Scallopini?  Scaloppine (plural and diminutive of scaloppa - a small scallop, i.e., a thinly sliced cut of meat) (in English usage scaloppini; sometimes scallopini) is a type of Italian dish that comes in many forms. It consists of thinly sliced meat most often veal, pork, or chicken that is dredged in wheat flour, sautéed, then heated and served with a tomato-, wine redux-sauce; or piccata, which denotes a caper and lemon sauce. (source: wikipedia)



Ingredients
1 package pork scallopini (4-6)
2 eggs, beaten
1-2 cups plain bread crumbs or Panko crumbs for more crunch (you'll need enough to completely coat the pork scallopines)
1 - 14.5 oz. can tomato sauce (or make your own)
1 - 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes, drained (or use fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced)
1 small can tomato paste
1-2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder (or fresh, minced garlic)
1/2 cup red cooking wine (may omit if desired)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or shredded 5-cheese Italian blend
1/4-1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Oil for lightly frying (use the oil of your choice)
Pasta (your choice)

Method
Mix bread crumbs or panko crumbs with Parmesan cheese.  Beat eggs in small bowl.  Dip pork scallopini in egg, then in bread crumb/Parmesan mixture to coat completely.

Place breaded scallopini on a cooling rack (with a paper towel underneath the rack) and let sit up to 1 hour at room temperature (this will help the coating stick better to the pork). 

Meanwhile, make the sauce (see note below).  In a medium sauce pan, add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, garlic and red wine; cook over medium heat until slightly boiling; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until sauce is slightly thickened and reduces some.


Start pasta water in a large, covered pan and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, add oil and heat over medium-high heat until oil is hot (375 degrees).  Add pork and fry a few minutes, turning once (it will cook through very quickly); remove from pan and drain on a clean cooling rack (with a paper towel underneath); cover loosely with some aluminum foil to keep warm. 

Working quickly, finish cooking the pasta, drain and serve to each plate. Top pasta with a pork scallopini, ladle sauce over each and top with some shredded mozzarella or 5-cheese Italian blend.  Serve immediately.

Reserve any leftover sauce for use another time (I freeze mine). Serve with a garden salad and garlic bread.

**Note** - make the sauce ahead of time if desired, then simply reheat when ready to serve. (I almost always make the sauce ahead as it can simmer much longer than this recipe calls for).

Yield:  2-4 servings

Enjoy,
Mary

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