Saltimbocca alla Romana Recipe

Saltimbocca alla Romana is one of the most famous specialties of traditional Lazio cuisine. This recipe is, together with Spaghetti alla Carbonara and pasta all’Amatriciana, one of the symbols of Roman cuisine in the world.

Thin slices of veal, cut into small sizes, garnished with a slice of prosciutto and a sage leaf. A very simple, delicious and tasty recipe.

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Veal Saltimbocca is an Italian meat recipe, ready in a few minutes and very easy to make. You can delight your guests with a succulent tasty traditional Italian dish without spending too much time in the kitchen!

As a side dish for veal saltimbocca alla romana you can choose a fresh salad with seasonal vegetables for a lighter dinner. But surely the ideal match for Saltimbocca are the exquisite Artichokes alla Romana or Baked Potato Fans with Herb Butter.

You have to try this terrific recipe! Follow our directions and enjoy!

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  • Prep Time: 15 Min
  • Cook Time: 5 Min
  • Servings: 6

Saltimbocca Recipe: Instructions

Prepare Saltimbocca

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Step 1) – Place the veal slices on a cutting board, and beat them lightly to make the thickness uniform and the meat more tender.

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Step 2) – Cover each slice of veal with a slice of prosciutto. Arrange the ham in such a way that it covers the whole veal slice.

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Step 3) – Add a sage leaf in the center. Fix it to the veal and prosciutto with a toothpick.

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Step 4) – Now flour the slices only on the side without the ham. Place the floured slices on a plate and set aside.

The Cooking

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Step 5) – Put oil and butter in a frying pan and heat over low heat. When the butter has completely melted, raise the heat a little and add the slices with the ham and the sage side up.

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Step 6) – Cook over medium heat for about one minute, until it starts to fry then add the white wine. Let it simmer for a minute over medium-high heat. Do not turn the slices but with a spoon pour a little sauce on the top.

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Step 7) – Now place the veal slices in a serving dish with salt and pepper to taste, but in moderation because the Parma ham is very tasty. Add another teaspoon of butter to the frying pan to create a creamy cooking sauce in a few seconds.

Serve Veal Saltimbocca hot with its sauce and some roasted potatoes as a side dish.

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Eat Veal Saltimbocca alla Romana still hot, just removed from the pan. Do not freeze.

If you have veal saltimbocca leftovers, you can keep them covered for 1 day in the refrigerator. You can heat them with a drop of water in a pan for one minute.

They will be a little harder and drier but still tasty.

What does “Saltimbocca” Means?

Saltimbocca translates from Italian as ‘jump in the mouth’ and it really couldn’t have a better name.

They are so good and greedy that they can be eaten quickly as if they “jumped” in your mouths by themselves!

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Tips and Tricks to Make the Perfect Saltimbocca Recipe

Saltimbocca alla Romana is a really simple and quick-to-make recipe. Anyway, it’s necessary to follow some important precautions for a good result. Let’s see some of them.

  • THE MEAT: First choose thin (about 1/4 inch thick) and high-quality veal slices. The perfect cut is veal cutlet. Of course, you are going to have to pound them first. This not only tenderizes the meat but also creates an even thickness that will help cook the meat evenly. You can use other types of meat such as chicken, pork or beef. But beware that the authentic Roman recipe of Saltimbocca is made with veal. 
  • PARMA HAM: it must be thinly sliced and soft, not too seasoned because it would become too salty when cooked. The ham must not be too lean. During cooking, the fat melts and makes the meat more tender.
  • THE FLOUR: The original recipe does not include the use of flour. Over the years, however, some began to flour saltimbocca, and this version liked a lot. So much that it has come down to the present day. Many however flour both sides, creating a crispy crust on the side of the ham as well. This way you risk burning the sage and the ham also becomes too dry and savory. The flour is used to make the sauce a little thicker. Better to flour the Saltimbocca only on the side without ham and not turn them during the cooking. This will make the base crunchy but the top will remain soft and juicy.
  • THE COOKING: The secret to making soft and juicy Veal Saltimbocca alla Romana like those of the best restaurants in Rome, is the very short cooking time. As soon as the slices have faded with the wine, they are ready and should be set aside immediately. Instead, leave the cooking sauce for an extra minute in the frying pan to become creamier. Cooking must be a maximum of 5 minutes in total and only on the floured side as we explained in the previous paragraph.

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Saltimbocca History

Many say that Veal Saltimbocca were born in Brescia, a town of Lombardy.

Indeed, for its ingredients, this recipe seems to be a dish from northern Italy. Above all, butter was practically unknown in the south in ancient times, as was Parma ham. The butter-sage combination is also typical of many traditional northern recipes.

From Brescia it seems that the Veal Saltimbocca spread to many areas of Italy, also reaching foreign countries, such as Switzerland, Spain and Greece in the late 19th century.

In Rome they spread more, so as to obtain paternity.

A great culinary critic, Pellegrino Artusi, says that Veal Saltimbocca were prepared since the end of the nineteenth century in Rome in the famous restaurant “Le Venete”.

This was the first Roman trattoria to offer Veal Saltimbocca but obviously not the last! Even today, Saltimbocca alla Romana are served in the best restaurants of Rome and are absolutely considered a Roman dish.

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