Saltimbocca is a specialty of Roman cuisine, an ancient traditional recipe that brings out the best in the few ingredients that are required.
The combination of tender veal, aromatic sage and mild ham has become a beloved classic and demonstrates that not much effort is needed to create a fine and delicate meal.
The name Saltimbocca can be translated as “jump into the mouth,” which implies that the dish is so tasty that your tongue begs for immediate indulgence.
The authentic recipe is prepared with boneless veal cutlets, prosciutto and fresh sage leaves, flavored with butter and white wine. You can either braise the meat at low heat or roast it and deglaze later with the wine.
Sage is full of essential oils and is therefore an aromatic herb. By heating it up with the butter and ham, you will quickly smell its intense and fresh aroma.
The ham is another important ingredient for the dish. Use air-dried varieties like prosciutto or Parma ham. Spanish Serrano will also work nicely.
The choice of meat for the traditional Saltimbocca alla Romana is veal. But in case you aren’t a veal lover, a suitable substitute would be chicken breast or white fish fillets,both of which harmonize well with the other flavors.
There are different methods of incorporating the ingredients. You can either use a toothpick to pin the prosciutto and sage leaves to the meat as it is described here, fill and fold the cutlets once, or completely roll them up to form something similar to a roulade.
Tip: For BBQ season, why not roast the Saltimbocca on your grill? Prepare a butter-wine reduction in advance or simply serve with any other kind of mild sauce you like.
About Nina-Kristin Isensee
Nina lives in Iserlohn, Germany and holds an MA in Art History (Medieval and Renaissance Studies). She is currently working as a freelance writer in various fields. She enjoys travel, photography, cooking, and baking. Nina tries to cook from scratch every day when she has the time and enjoys trying out new spices and ingredients, as well as surprising her family with new cake creations.