Veal Parmigiana


The story behind this classic dish and the multitude of ways to enjoy it.

This article, written by Dahlia Snaiderman, appears on HNGN.

Veal Parmigiana: Italian Classic Cultivated By Generations Of Italian-American Cooks

There are infinite ways to prepare this truly perfect dish, from vegetarian to veal and from decadent to decent-for-the-waistline. Get cooking!

There’s no dish more comforting than veal parmigiana. Thin cutlets of veal are breaded and fried, topped with thick, red tomato sauce and a melty, stringy layer of provolone or mozzarella cheese, and sprinkled with a shower of grated parmigiano. Drooling yet? We just decided what you’re making for dinner.

You can throw it on a hero bun for a heavy, wonderful sandwich, or eat it next to a big pile spaghetti. Keep some extra tomato sauce on hand for dipping/dunking. These applications of veal parm are truly Italian-American, though the dish actually did originate in Italy, unlike many Italian-American favorites.

Eggplant parmigiana originated in the south of Italy, and melanzane alla parmigiana is a canonical part of the down-home cuisine of the South. It’s made quite differently in Italy, with only a slight breading and frying and a little sprinkle of mozzarella and parmigiano cheeses. It’s served in a light tomato sauce.

In America, in Little Italies around the country, the dish evolved along with the Italian culture of children of Italian immigrants. It’s heavily breaded and fried until super-crispy, and the light tomato sauce evolved to be a thick, potent red sauce that we know today. We also added much, much more cheese, of course. Meats like veal and chicken were also given the parmigiana treatment stateside – it’s uncommon to see any meats prepared in this way in Italy. Read more at HNGN…

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