This tasty main course originated in Rome, but quickly earned a place on family dinner tables nationwide. The name, literally meaning “jumps in the mouth”, is well deserved: light, delicious, and easy to make, this preparation is beloved by grown ups and kids alike.
Growing up, the Ruffoni children loved it with lots of sauce, served with a steaming pile of soft mashed potatoes. These days balsamic brussels sprouts and glazed carrots are a more frequent pairing.
Saltimbocca alla romana
Main courses, Midweek meals
8 veal escalope
8 prosciutto crudo (ham) slices
8-12 sage leaves
1/4 cup butter
1 cup white wine
4 tbsp white flour
1 tbsp EVO oil
Cracked black pepper
Beat the escalopes with a mallet to thin them out and season with salt and pepper.
Top each escalope with a slice of prosciutto, one or two sage leaves, and pin them into place with a toothpick – then coat the bottom with a dusting of flour.
In a Serving Frying Pan, melt the butter with a bit of EVO oil (to prevent the butter from browning too quickly), and sear the saltimbocca over medium-low heat for approx 3 minutes.
Add the wine, let the alcohol evaporate, then lower the flame.
Cover the gratin with its lid and cook over low heat until the meat is done (approx. 5-10 mins).
Keep checking on your saltimbocca and add a touch of hot water or stock if they start to catch.
Check the sauce, season with salt and pepper, and bring to the table. Buon appetito!
While the traditional recipe for this dish calls for veal, other meats can be substituted, such as pork or chicken; just make sure to cut and/or beat the slices really thin, and adjust the cooking time as needed, especially with poultry!
These little parcels can be served flat, such as in our photo, or rolled up; in this case, it is rather common, even though not “traditional”, to add a little cube of melting cheese inside the roll for an extra delicious surprise when cutting into them.