Veal Scaloppine with Eggplant and Tomatoes

This is a Sicilian recipe that could pass for Neapolitan as well, with its typically southern Italian ingredients of eggplant, tomatoes, olives, and veal. What we really have here is a rigatoni alia Norma, hold the rigatoni and substitute the veal! The eggplant rounds echo the shape of the veal slices and make for a very pretty plate. You could serve this with rigatoni for a very inauthentic but satisfying dish (Italians eat pasta as a course in itself and usually do not accompany an entree with pasta). If you wish to cut the quantity of meat (½ pound per person may seem like a lot but remember that it shrinks), try increasing the eggplant.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into eight ½-inch-thick slices each
  • ¾ to 1 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ to 2 pounds boneless veal loin, cut into sixteen ½-inch-thick slices
  • ½ cup Veal, Beef, or Chicken Stock
  • 4 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • cups Tomato Sauce (see Note)
  • 20 Niçoise or Kalamata, pitted and quartered
  • ½ cup lightly packed basil chiffonade

Method

Heat the grill or broiler, or preheat the oven to 400°. Brush the eggplant slices on both sides with olive oil, using about ½ cup. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Grill, broil, or bake until tender and cooked through but not mushy, about 10 minutes under the broiler or 20 minutes in the oven. Set aside and keep warm.

Lightly pound the veal slices ¼ inch thick between sheets of plastic wrap. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add 4 veal slices and brown 2 minutes each side; set aside on a platter and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining veal slices, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons oil to the pan as needed for each batch.

Add the stock to the pan and boil, scraping up browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until slightly thickened. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute over medium heat. Stir in the tomato sauce and half the olives and basil; heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Alternate slices of veal and eggplant on serving plates. Spoon the sauce over top and garnish with the remaining olives and basil. Serve hot.