Almost every cuisine has a variation of this dish which are stuffed rolls of thinly sliced veal that when prepared resemble little songbirds without heads. The dish, in French, "alouettes sans tetes" (larks without heads) is known in Germany as "rouladen" and in England as "veal birds" or "olives". Each cuisine varies the preparation with the combination of stuffings and herbs. The one we usually prepare at the Inn, is an Italian version, "veal rollatine", with proscuitto, fontina cheese, fresh basil and sage. Topped with a Marsala wine sauce with mushrooms it makes an elegant dinner entree. A slight variation can also be done with chicken using ricotta cheese, dried fruit and pistacios and served with the same Marsala sauce. You can make up your own "surprise package" to wrap in the pounded veal or chicken (we also do an vegetarian variation, eggplant rollatine with fresh tomato sauce).
Ingredients for rollatine:
2 pounds of veal cutlets, trimmed for scaloppine, about 12 pieces
1/2 pound prosciutto
3/4 pound Fontina cheese
12 basil leaves
2 eggs, wisked
1 cup flour
6 tablespoons, unsalted butter
fresh ground black pepper to taste
Ingredients for Marsala wine sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 & 3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Marsala (sweet or dry)
Sauteed mushrooms of your choice
Fresh chopped sage for garnish.
Pat the veal dry and lay slices on cutting board with narrow end facing away from you,
Sprinkle top with fresh pepper to taste
Place two slices of proscuitto on veal
Place one slice of Fontina cheese on top of veal
Place basil leaf on top at the end closest to you
Roll up th veal away from you so the narrow end is on the outside
Secure the roll with a toothpick
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees
Dip each veal rollatine in the egg and then the flour and set aside
In a large, non-stick, oven proof skillet, melt the butter. When the butter is bubbling, add the veal and brown 3 -4 minutes turning until all sides are brown. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10-15 mintues until meat is cooked through.
For the sauce:
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add flour and wisk to incorporate. Allow to brown a little before adding the broth and wne. Simmer, stirring occcasionally until sauce thickens. Add sauteed mushrooms and spoon sauce over veal for the last 5 mintues in the oven.
Remove from pan and sprinkle with fresh sage just before serving.