- A few sprigs of fresh basil
- Olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 anchovies
- 1 fresh red chilies
- 2 x 14-oz cans diced tomatoes
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups fresh bread crumbs
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
- A handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, preferably free-range or organic, beaten
- 4 x 7-oz veal or pork leg escalopes, flattened to a thickness of 3/4 inch
- 1/4 buffalo mozzarella cheese
Italian red – an Aglianico from Campania or Basilicata
1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Pick the leaves off the sprigs of basil and put them into a small bowl of water to keep them fresh. Finely chop the tender stalks. Put a frying pan on a medium heat and add a splash of olive oil, the chopped basil stalks, garlic, and anchovies and cook for a few minutes. Prick the chili a few times and add it to the pan. Allow everything to sizzle for a minute or so, then pour in the canned tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Meanwhile, prepare your escalopes. Mix the breadcrumbs in the bowl with the thyme leaves and Parmesan. Finely grate your lemon zest into the breadcrumbs, mix again, then lay out three plates in front of you. Put the flour on one and season it with salt and black pepper, pour the eggs onto the next plate, and put the herby bread crumbs on the third. Dip the escalopes, one at a time, into the flour until well coated. Shake off any excess, then dip into the egg. Let the extra egg drip off, then lay the escalope in the bread crumb mixture. Sprinkle a handful of crumbs over the top and press them down. Make a real point of getting bread crumbs onto every part of the escalope.
3. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over a medium heat and add a good splash of olive oil. Let it heat up a bit, then add your escalopes. If your pan isn’t big enough, you may have to cook them in batches, adding a little extra oil if needed. Cook for a few minutes on each side or until lightly golden, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Get yourself a snug-fitting, appropriately sized baking dish (approx. 12×8 inches) and spread the tomato sauce in the dish. Lay your escalopes on top, side by side. Tear the buffalo mozzarella into pieces and dot these over the dish with a few basil leaves.
4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden, bubbling, and deliciously cooked. Sprinkle the rest of the basil leaves over. Perfect with a crunchy zingy salad, but you may also like to serve it with things like spaghetti, rice, mashed potatoes, polenta or crusty bread.
From JAMIE’S AMERICA by Jamie Oliver. Photographs by David Loftus. Copyright © Jamie Oliver, 2009, 2010. Photographs copyright © David Loftus, 2009, 2010. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.