Whether you refer to the name as Parmigiana, Parmesan or just plain Parm, more than likely you’ve enjoyed devouring a variation of this popular entree, but did you know the authentic Italian Parmigiana dish began as a meatless dish and consisted of a base of eggplant deep-fried in oil and layered with cheese and tomato sauce, then baked.
Of course, it wasn’t too long before other countries outside of Italy began crafting new variations of this popular baked entree by replacing the fried eggplant with meatier substitutes such as chicken, veal, beef and my favorite elk.
Now my version of this entrée is similar to what you might find on the menu in your favorite restaurant but instead uses a delicious medley of sliced elk dredged in seasoned breadcrumbs lightly fried until golden brown, then set in a tomato sauce with each cutlet topped with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese. And to make the dish even more substantial, I like to add a few spoonfuls of ricotta cheese to the sauce and then bake.
You’ll end up with an enticing combination of tender breaded elk, warm tomato sauce and gooey melted cheese that’s a perfect combination to serve over cooked pasta or wilted spinach.