Today’s Regional Italian dish comes from Lazio, Rome’s region. In fact, this dish is Roman… so much so, that it is called Saltimbocca alla romana (which literally means “jumps in the mouth Roman style”). This is one of those dishes that you can easily find outside of Italy and that I have seen made in all sorts of… well, let’s say “unconventional” ways. It is a very straightforward recipe that does not require many ingredients, so the ingredients need to be of very good quality for it to turn out as delicious as in Rome. The veal has to be tender and, above all, I invite you to try and make it with Italian prosciutto (I like to use Parma for this dish, but San Daniele would work too). Italian prosciutto is much sweeter than other products… try it and you will know what I mean. Also, Italian prosciutto should be cut “paper thin” and should be enjoyed with the fat on! Whenever I buy it here in Sydney I have a hard time trying to explain to whoever cuts it that I want it WITH the fat on. Fat is what makes prosciutto sweet and what keeps it soft and moist. If you remove it, you will end up with a much saltier and drier prosciutto. Please, do ask to keep at least 2 cm (a little less than 1 inch) of fat and to slice it THIN! You will discover a new world! Enjoy my saltimbocca!
Ingredients (for 4 persons):
4 veal schnitzels (to be cut in half)
8 slices of prosciutto
8 sage leaves
1 tbsp butter
50 ml – 1.7 oz. white wine
Salt & pepper to taste
Start by cutting veal schnitzels in half and flattening them till they become approximately 0.5 cm – 0.2 inches thick. Now place a slice of prosciutto on each schnitzel and a sage leaf on the prosciutto. Weave a toothpick in and out of the veal to secure the prosciutto and sage to it.
Now coat the schnitzles with a little flour and shake off the excess.
Put the butter in a frying pan and let it melt on a slow fire. Add the veal to the pan on a single layer and increase the flame to medium. Quickly brown on both sides, then add the white wine and let the alcohol evaporate. Reduce the flame and cook for 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.
NOTE: do not add too much salt as prosciutto is already a bit salty.