Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
It was not enough to grow up in an Italian household with my Neapolitan and Sicilian grandmothers, two great cooks: I still had to make those trips to Italy to see for myself how the natives cooked.
My destination on one trip was the Bellevue Syrene in Sorrento, where I had enrolled in cooking classes. The journey south from Rome takes about 4½ hours and winds along a breathtaking coastline. Jagged cliffs, hairpin turns, and aquamarine water are everywhere. Once I arrived, it was no-nonsense, down-to-business cooking, from early in the morning to late in the afternoon.
I was very proud of the dishes I created in class, especially the veal with fresh tomato sauce. It was tender as a cloud and just spicy enough. This dish is a favorite for company, because it can be prepared in just a few minutes.
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups coarsely chopped fresh plum tomatoes (about 8 medium tomatoes), drained of their juices
2 teaspoons salt
1½ tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1 pound veal cutlets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
To make the sauce, in a large skillet, heat the oil and sauté the garlic until soft. Add the tomatoes, salt, and oregano. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil, and set aside.
Season the veal on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the veal and sauté until lightly browned on both sides, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve immediately.
Note: This sauce is also good over thin-sliced pan-fried sirloin steaks.
This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1991.