It’s an Italian kind of week here at Kitchen Bitch. We started off with that stunning Caprese Salad earlier this week, and we’re moving on to my all-time favorite Italian main course, Saltimbocca alla Romana or veal saltimbocca.
Saltimbocca literally translates to “jumps in the mouth,” and that’s exactly what this dish does. The tender veal, salty prosciutto, peppery sage, Parmesan cheese and white wine sauce produce an unbelievable explosion of flavor in your mouth. Between chews and swallows all I could hear at the dinner table was, “Wow, Mavis, this is amazing!” My family was still talking about this meal a few days later, if that tells you how good it is.
This recipe is pretty easy to make, too. If you’re not inclined to eat veal or are on a budget, chicken is a great substitute. Simply purchase chicken scaloppine (thinly sliced chicken) or pound chicken breasts flat with a meat mallet to uniform thickness, about ¼-in. Then lightly coat the scaloppine with flour, secure a sage leaf and prosciutto slice on each scallop, and sauté until golden brown and delicious. Remove scaloppine from pan, add some white wine and sage leaves, scrape up the brown bits and reduce. Voila! You have an amazing sauce for your perfectly cooked veal saltimbocca.
If you’ve got some big eaters in your family like I do, be sure to make a few extra scaloppine for those who want (or need) seconds. I served this with a Lemon-Arugula Pasta—look for it next week on Kitchen Bitch.
What’s your favorite Italian main course? Any Italian secondi (second-course dishes) you’d like to see featured on KB? Post your thoughts in the comments section.
This recipe is adapted from Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, authors of classics like The New Basics Cookbook and The Silver Palate Cookbook. If you can’t find veal, chicken is a good substitute.Don’t forget to remove the toothpicks before serving. Click here for a print copy of this recipe.
½ c. unbleached all-purpose flour for dusting
½ tsp. garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne
Freshly ground pepper
4 veal scallops, pounded thin
4 thin slices of prosciutto
8 fresh sage leaves
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, divided
¼ c. Parmesan cheese
1/3 c. dry Italian white wine
1 tsp. minced fresh sage leaves
Special equipment: Toothpicks
Prepare veal. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Combine flour, garlic powder and cayenne in a pie dish or other wide vessel, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Lay one slice of prosciutto on each veal scallop and lay a few bay leaves on each piece of prosciutto. Weave a toothpick in and out of the veal to secure the prosciutto and sage. Dust the scallops with flour, shaking off any excess.
Cook veal. Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Lay the veal in the pan prosciutto-side down and cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the scallops to a rimmed baking sheet or shallow pan and reserve skillet. Sprinkle the cheese over the veal. Bake until cooked through, 3-5 minutes.
Make sauce. Meanwhile, add the wine to the skillet and cook over high heat, scraping up any brown bits, until reduced to 3 tablespoons, about 2 minutes. Then lower the heat and swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and minced sage. Arrange the veal on a platter, pour the sauce over, and serve immediately.