Saltimbocca alla Romana is a delicious Italian dish consisting of thin cuts of veal (or chicken or pork if you prefer) wrapped in prosciutto with sage leaves. The dish is typically cooked with dry white wine and butter to make a delicious pan sauce and enjoyed with pasta! This dish is one of our favorites – and surprisingly very simple to make.
What even is Saltimbocca?
A little about the dish: Saltimbocca means “to jump in mouth” in Italian (as far as we know) and for good reason. This is a flavor bomb. It can be served with many things – but we like a little pasta to go with it and something light and green. Beans, peas, greens, asparagus, etc. all work in our opinion. Saltimbocca is considered a Roman dish – where it actually originated is somewhat disputed - but this is where the "alla Romana" comes in, meaning "Roman style." Wherever in Italy this actually originated is for a food history blog, which you won't find a ton of here! But veal cooked in butter and white wine, with prosciutto and sage just screams “jump in my mouth!”
Is Saltimbocca made with Veal, Chicken or Pork?
Traditionally this dish is made with veal scaloppini, or thin slices of veal. Although nothing rivals veal here (opinion alert) you can use thin pieces of pork or chicken if you have some problems finding veal or other personal problems with eating it. However, veal is amazing in this and you’ll be wanting it again and again. We are progressive cooks, so tradition is an aspect of our cooking but not the be-all-end-all. We have tried variations – many – and this is our favorite for its simplicity and taste and, by many standards, quite traditional.
We cook a “flat” version of saltimbocca typically. It can be rolled as well, which is a little trickier to cook, takes a bit longer, but has a different flavor that you may prefer (or may not) so it’s worth a try. The flat version has prosciutto and sage fixed to the veal by either wrapping the prosciutto around the meat or holding it in place with a toothpick. You will want to place the sage leaves inside the prosciutto unless you want the sage to cook to a crisp (believe us, you do not want this). Cooking the sage between the meat and prosciutto layer will allow it to maintain its flavor and allow the prosciutto to crisp up a bit instead.
Can I omit the flour?
We have tried making saltimbocca with and without dredging in flour, and it is tasty either way. We prefer flouring one side of the veal to develop a bit of texture to the meat and thickness to the sauce, but if you are on a gluten free diet or want to avoid the extra carbs, it doesn't change the taste to omit the flour from this dish.
This is an easy but decadent dish that will impress at a dinner party or just a great dish for one or two at home anytime. Quality veal and good prosciutto and you have an almost foolproof dish. Of course a good wine – think pinot noir or a chianti for reds or a pinot grigio for whites – will make this perfection. We recommend making this with our homemade pasta.
We hope you enjoy this Saltimbocca alla Romana dish! If you give it a try leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine.