Saltimbocca are some of the fastest, easiest, and most succulent meat dish you can prepare. Their name, ‘jump-in-a-mouth’, kind of says it all… In Italy, we call them ‘the Roman way’ since at least Pellegrino Artusi’s description in his famous 1891 cookbook, even though they probably originated more to the north, in the town of Brescia. Nevertheless, across the country and around the world, this dish has now become one of the symbols of the food from Rome and Italy in general.
Saltimbocca alla Romana (serves 4)
600 g veal escalope
10 slices of Parma Ham
a few sage leaves
50 g butter
1 glass of white wine
Start with prepping the meat: beat it until thin–about 2 or 3 mm thick. I have used the bottom of a moka-pot, but you can use a rolling pin or even a meat pounder, but do not tenderise the meat with one of those spiky hammers, just flat it out. Then, cut the meat slices into smaller squares.
Once you have prepared the meat slices, cover each one of them with a prosciutto slice, in order to have the surface of the meat completely covered. Place one sage leaf and pin it with a tooth-pick going through all the way. Some people love the silky flavour of sage more than others; if this is you, then double the leaves on each saltimbocca slice you are preparing. You will not need to use any salt, as the prosciutto flavour will take care of that for you.
Once the prepping is done, melt the butter in a wide frying pan; when it starts to turn into small white bubbles, place your saltimbocca for a couple of minutes per side at medium/high heat.
After both sides have been cooked, turn them again with the prosciutto side facing up, add the wine at high heat and let it evaporate. After one minute, start placing the saltimbocca slices on the plates, while you let the wine sauce reduce. Dress your saltimbocca with a sprinkle of ground black pepper and the wine reduction sauce. You can serve them with pretty much any sort of side dish, potatoes, chips, peas and carrots, or a fresh salad.