Veal involtini with herbed orzo

Neil Perry
Neil Perry's veal involtini with herbed orzo (pictured left).
Neil Perry's veal involtini with herbed orzo (pictured left). Photo: William Meppem

This traditional Sicilian main pairs beautifully with the herbed orzo, but it can also be served with soft polenta - plenty of butter in the polenta creates a beautiful creamy texture, and the addition of simple blanched green beans would be perfection. Prepare the roasted tomato and oregano sauce (recipe here) in advance.

Ingredients

Veal involtini

1/3 cup freshly grated pecorino

1 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

1 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

11/2 tbsp toasted pine nuts

1 heaped tbsp dried currants, soaked in warm water 1 hour, then drained

pinch fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

pinch sea salt

pinch freshly ground white pepper

4 x 150g veal escalopes

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Herbed orzo

2 cups orzo

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

8 large basil leaves

1 clove garlic, peeled

finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon, no pith

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 180C. In a bowl, stir together the pecorino, breadcrumbs, parsley, pine nuts, drained currants, rosemary and seasoning until well mixed.

Lay the pieces of veal out on a bench and spread breadcrumb mixture all over each piece, spreading it out thinly and evenly. Roll each piece up tightly, starting from a short side, and secure with toothpicks.

Heat olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat and cook involtini in batches until sealed all over. Remove from heat, place on a lined baking tray in the oven for an extra 3-5 minutes until cooked. Rest in a warm place. Once the involtini has rested, remove and discard toothpicks.

For the orzo

Cook the orzo in a pot of boiling salted water, stirring frequently until al dente.

Meanwhile blend olive oil, basil leaves, garlic and lemon rind. Once orzo is cooked, drain well and toss through the herbed oil. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, divide the involtini between 4 plates or large pasta-style bowls, and top each involtini with the tomato and oregano sauce.