Saltimbocca alla romana recipe
Posted on 11 September 2020
Saltimbocca alla romana is so mouth-watering (hence crowd-pleasing as you’ll be easily able to check with no risk at your next family dinner!) that it is “written on it”! This typical and traditional Italian dish comes from Lazio and takes its name from saltare in bocca, literally meaning “jump into the mouth”. And hopefully, it is just as simple to prepare as it is fast to end up with it; usually ready to eat in no more than 20 minutes, it is accessible to any beginner in the art of cooking.
Veal or chicken saltimbocca… how to make a traditional saltimbocca alla romana?
Some amateurs or even famous chefs make substitutions to better fit their taste, using chicken or marsala to get a glossier and sweeter sauce for instance. Many of those variations are seen in trattorias - even in the peninsula - but the “authentic” recipe of saltimbocca alla romana basically features veal, prosciutto di Parma, fresh sage and white wine.
For 4 servings, you will need:
- 4 x 150g veal escalopes;
- 4 to 8 fresh sage leaves;
- 8 thin slices of prosciutto crudo (Culatello di Zibello PDO being the best one);
- 2 tablespoons of butter;
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil;
- 1/2 glass of dry white wine;
- Salt and black pepper.
Lay the escalopes on a cutting board, leaving a little space between them. Cover with clingfilm and pound with a meat tenderiser (or with your fists, in desperation!) until they get about 5 mm thick.
Season both sides of the flattened veal with freshly ground black pepper but only with a bit of salt or none at all for the prosciutto side (since it is already quite salty).
Arrange 1 or 2 gently rinsed and dried sage leaves on each fillet then 2 pieces of prosciutto on top to cover it and fold over the sides; you should not need any tooth pick as the prosciutto will stick to the meat by itself and also keep the sage in place.
Medium-heat a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of butter and the olive oil in it.
Unless you have an extra large tool (!), you should only have room to cook two escalopes at a time. So add those two first, then remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm and repeat: fry for about 2 minutes on each side, starting with the prosciutto one down to the pan; caution, the ham should get golden and crispy but not too dry.
Put the pan back on the heat, pour the white wine and the rest of the butter along with a little water to deglaze and simmer for about 1 minute until the sauce has thickened somewhat.
Drizzle over the meat… on previously warmed up plates if you’re in search of perfection (!)
Immediately serve this saltimbocca alla romana with fresh pasta from the same region, polenta or mixed marsala-glazed vegetables for instance.
What would be the perfect saltimbocca wine pairing?
The traditional combination to complement this special dish flavors is an easy-drinking and fruity Italian red like this well-balanced Sangiovese we do recommend you. But a saltimbocca would also pair well with a good-bodied and aromatic Pinot Grigio or, unexpectedly, with a fragrant chardonnay-based sparkling wine like this light-colored Bollicine Rosé from the award-winner Serafini & Vidotto winery.