Tag Archives: marinara sauce

Veal Parmesan with Zpaghetti

In recent years, I have started a new tradition of buying myself a Christmas present or two and wrapping it up to put under the tree.  As it turns out, Santa always seems to bring me something I really want!  As you might imagine, kitchen gadgets tend to make my wish list here and there.  This year I really wanted a spiral slicer!  I love the idea of making “noodles” out of whatever veggie happens to be handy, but I do not love the idea of sitting there painstakingly peeling or slicing away at it to get my uniform, healthy, yummy veggie-noodles.  But now!  I have the perfect little tool and let me tell you this baby is fun to play with!  At the risk of sounding like an informercial, let me just say it worked like a charm and I had a pile of lovely curly strands of zucchini in mere moments.

What else can I slice up?  Quick!  Get me a carrot!

What else can I slice up? Quick! Get me a carrot!

A quick sauté with a bit of garlic and they were perfect alongside my delicious veal parmesan.  My daughter, who is not usually a big zucchini fan, actually ate the entire serving.  As for the veal, you’ve got to try these delicious burgers.  With a simple marinara topping and a sprinkle of cheese, they were a huge hit!  Not a veal fan?  No problem.  Feel free to substitute ground beef or turkey, or even slices of eggplant!

Veal Parmesan with Zpaghetti.  So delicious!

Veal Parmesan with Zpaghetti. So delicious!

Veal Parmesan with Zpaghetti

Sauce:

Olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
Pinch of crushed red peppers
Salt & pepper
1 tsp. capers

Blend up or crush tomatoes (with juice).  Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Add garlic and stir about 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add tomatoes, crushed red peppers and a pinch of salt & pepper.  Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer.  Toss in capers.  Let sauce simmer while you prepare the burgers.

Mmmm.  Simple and good.  When I have a bit of fresh basil I throw that in as well.

Mmmm. Simple and good. When I have a bit of fresh basil I throw that in as well.

Burgers:

1 pound ground veal (or ground beef or turkey)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg
3-4 mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
Salt & pepper
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 cup panko (or other bread crumbs)
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan, shredded

Heat oven to broil.  Mix veal, garlic, egg, mushrooms, onion and seasonings until well blended.  Form into patties.  Dredge both sides in panko and shake off excess.  Heat a drizzle of oil in a large skillet.  Add patties and cook 4-5 minutes on each side until brown on the outside and done in the middle.

Cooking up the burgers.

Cooking up the burgers.

Remove to a baking sheet.  Top each burger with a generous spoonful of sauce and a sprinkle of mozzarella and parmesan.  Place under the broiler 3-4 minutes, until cheese is melted and starting to brown on top.

All sliced up and ready to cook.  The strips are so thin it only takes a couple of minutes to cook!

All sliced up and ready to cook. The strips are so thin it only takes a couple of minutes to cook!

Zpaghetti:

3 zucchini, cut into thin strips either with a spiral slicer or using a vegetable peeler
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Salt & pepper

While burgers are broiling, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet and toss in the zucchini, along with minced garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper.  Add a pinch of salt & pepper if desired.  Sauté 2-3 minutes until zucchini is tender.  Serve hot, topped with extra marinara sauce.

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Veal Parmesan Burgers

I went to the store to buy ground lamb.  I picked up a package of it and noticed it was all sticky (yuck!) so I put it down and picked up the one next to it and tossed it in the cart.  When I got it home, I realized I had bought ground veal instead.  Drat.  Somebody needs to work on their packaging.

Packaging FAIL.

Packaging FAIL.

I wasn’t about to throw it away.  Or trek back to the store to exchange it.  So…I was challenged to come up with dinner using an ingredient I have actually never cooked with.  No problem.  I just pretended I was on one of those cooking competition shows and had just been given something weird like sea urchin.  Veal was my sea urchin.  I had an idea for a gourmet-ish burger.  For some reason Veal Parmesan popped into my head.  Which is weird, because I’ve never made that either.  So I combined the two ideas.  Veal Parmesan Burgers were born.  And they were out of this world!  Next time I may just have to buy veal on purpose!

Veal Parmesan Burger

Veal Parmesan Burger

Veal Parmesan Burgers

1 pound ground veal
2 cloves garlic, minced & divided
1/4 cup onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
Salt & pepper
2 slices of bread, any kind (or you can use panko)
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, pureed in a blender
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp. pesto or chopped basil
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
Ciabatta bread or Kaiser rolls
Olive oil

Mix veal, 1 clove minced garlic, onion and mushrooms.  Add a pinch of salt & pepper.  Mix well and form into 3-4 patties.  I made my patties oblong to fit my bread better.

In a food processor, pulse the bread and 1 clove of garlic to make coarse bread crumbs.  Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake at 400˚ for a few minutes.  Stir every couple of minutes.  Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn, you just want them to get light brown and a bit crunchy.

Dredge the patties in the bread crumbs and set aside.

Burgers & Breadcrumbs

Burgers & Breadcrumbs

In a medium saucepan, heat a drizzle of olive oil. Add sliced garlic and crushed red pepper.  Stir until fragrant.  Add pureed tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.  Add a pinch of salt & pepper.  Simmer for 15 minutes or so until slightly thickened.  Stir in pesto or basil.  Set aside.  Note: this is going to make more sauce than you will probably need for this recipe. The leftovers will keep in the fridge for several days, or they freeze well for future use.  Yay, spaghetti for lunch tomorrow!

Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add a drizzle of olive oil and let it get hot.  Flick a few drops of water in the pan.  If they sizzle you are ready to go.  Add veal patties and cook about 4 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Cook the burgers.  I made mine oblong to match the bread shape.

Cook the burgers. I made mine oval instead of round to match the bread shape.

Heat broiler.  On a large baking sheet, lay out slices of bread or buns, and the veal patties. Lightly drizzle the buns with olive oil.

Burgers before they get all dressed up.

Burgers before they get all dressed up.

Top patties with marinara sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan.  Put until the broiler for a couple of minutes until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.

Broil bread and burgers on separate pans if you want.  I just stuck them all on one.

Broil bread and burgers on separate pans if you want. I just stuck them all on one.

Build your burger and enjoy!

Yum!

Yum!

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