The beauty of Italian cooking rests in it’s simplicity.  You strive to use only the freshest possible ingredients and you allow them to speak through simple classic preparations. As a result, it is often easy to prepare delicious meals during the week with minimal prep time.  The following meal comes together in under 30 minutes. 
Filetto di Maile Milanese
1 pound boneless pork cutlets
2 eggs, beaten
1 box Italian Panko Breadcrumbs
16 oz. arugula
2 tomatoes diced small
1 head fennel, diced small
5 bocconcini di mozzarella, diced small
Dredge the pork in the egg and dip into the panko.  Remove to a baking sheet.  Preheat the oven to 350.
Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl, season with salt, pepper, a generous drizzle of olive oil and just a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Bake the meat for 15 minutes.  Top with the salad mixture and serve! 


Pork Cutlet Milanese with Arugula, Tomato, Fennel & Mozzarella
As a contorno, while the meat is baking, you can make these excellent Sicilian string beans.  Simply microwave the beans for 4 minutes in some water. I used a plastic tupperware steamer.  Drain and saute the beans in extra virgin olive oil with garlic, whole hot chiles and a single ground up anchovy.  These are spicy and delicious, and will cook up in the time the rest of the meal comes together.  If you want, you can sprinkle them with some bread crumbs before serving. It makes for a nice texture and also absorbs some of the heat from the chiles.


Sicilian green beans with chiles, garlic, and anchovy


Wth this “quasi” Northern Italian meal, I opened a wine I’ve been eager to try.  The 2008 Sartori Amarone. I didn’t decant the wine in advance, and in retrospect, I think that turned out to be a slight mistake. This blossomed aromatically in a big way after being opened for about 45 minutes.  In the glass  the wine is dark, clear violet to ruby.  The aromatics include flowers, dried ripe fruits, menthol and tobacco. In the mouth, the wine is simply delicious. It’s not as raisiny, dried or unctuous as other Amarone I’ve had. It’s more like a full bodied Valpolicella Ripasso – but this is no knock as the wine is simply studded with bright ripe fruit, sweet pipe tobacco, black licorice and savory herbs.  It was delicious with the peppery arugula and the pork. Simply an outstanding pairing.  91 points.    Disclosure: This wine was a distributor provided sample.


2008 Sartori Amarone – Delicious!


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