madonna del piatto

Italian family cooking


cotolette di maiale

crspy, fragrant, garlicky pork cutlets

crspy, fragrant, garlicky pork cutlets

BREADED PORK  CUTLETS . I could become vegetarian any moment of my life save for a few things which I passionately like. My mom’s involtini , a good slice of prosciutto and our family’s cotolette served with plenty crisp salad and bright lemon wedges. The recipe is obviously an adaptation of the world famous veal cutlets – cotolette alla Milanese -. I use thinly sliced meat and fragrant garlicky bread crumbs which in my house is like gold dust, it will improve anything.


Gently pound cutlets to 1/8-inch (about 3 mm) thickness. Spread bread crumbs on a large shallow dish or tray. Lightly beat the egg in another shallow bowl. Dip cutlets in egg then dredge in bread crumbs. It is important to obtain a quite dense and even coating of bread crumbs. For this, after dredging, press slices with your hand against a cutting board dredging twice if necessary.  Arrange on a separate dish.

Heat 2.5 cm/1 inch vegetable oil in a skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then fry the cotolette, turning over once, until golden, about 2-3 minutes. Dry briefly onto paper towels, then transfer to a serving dish.

As the meat is thin and the cutlets quite crisp, they can be served cold -but not refrigerated- as party finger food. Just prepare them a couple of hours in advance and tear them into bite size chunks. Serves 3-4


seasoned breadcrumbs

crusty bread which has been toasted to make breadcrumbs

crusty bread which has been toasted to make breadcrumbs

PANGRATTATTO CONDITO. This is an unbelievably useful recipe. One could use it everyday for a different dish as it makes everything yummy.

The dry seasoned breadcrumbs can be used to  make meatballs or to coat “cotolette“, thin slices of meat which are subsequently deep fried to golden. Add some olive oil, a teaspoon or two of capers and sprinkle thickly over a fish fillet. Decorate with a handful of cherry tomatoes and  bake.

Add  some tomato sauce, and braised minced meat if desired, and you can use it as a  stuffing for the classic antipasto  vegetables. I will eventually publish all these recipes. The one of stuffed pork rolls, a great favorite of our family, will follow next.

I am not really  fond of store bought breadcrumbs, so when I can I make my own. I either  use leftover bread which I air-dry  inside paper bags or I toast it in a low oven. Then I pop it into the food processor using the cheese grater attachment.


  • 2 cups (300 gr) bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • black pepper to taste

Use fresh or make several batches and keep in the freezer.

breadcrumbs - pangrattato -  an essential ingredient of many Italian recipes

breadcrumbs - pangrattato - an essential ingredient of many Italian recipes


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