Italian Regional Recipes Secondi Piatti: Meat, Fish, Eggs, Cheese

Saltimbocca Alla Romana

Saltimbocca alla Romana is a simple and tasty meat dish, a secondo typical of Roman cuisine and already known to be part of it at the end of the 19th century. The name literally means “jump-in-your-mouth”, and you’ll see for yourself how difficult it is to stop after the first, tender mouthful.

Saltimbocca only require very few ingredients, and are never wrapped up in a roll or floured before cooking. The kind of meat and the flat shape make them quick to cook, but also prone to drying up, so it’s important to keep the frying time to a minimum.

Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 5 to 10 mins | Cooking time: 10 mins

  • Veal: 4 slices
  • Parma ham: 4 slices
  • Sage: 4 leaves
  • Butter, unsalted: 30 g
  • White wine, dry: about half a glass
  • Salt and pepper: to taste


The veal must be lean and tender; if you notice any nerves, remove them before starting to prepare your Saltimbocca. Put a slice of meat between two sheets of baking paper and then beat it up with a meat pounder.

Rinse the sage and carefully dry it with a kitchen cloth, careful not to break the leaves.

Lay out the veal slices on a plate and top each of them with a slice of ham and a sage leaf. Pin the ham and sage to the veal with a toothpick.

Heat up the butter in a non-stick pan until it melts, and lightly brown the Saltimbocca on each side. Pour in the wine, add salt and pepper to taste and let simmer until cooked through.

Pour the reduced wine on top of the Saltimbocca when you serve them.

Tip: Saltimbocca are very easy and quick to prepare, and need only a couple of minutes in the pan. Veal tends to become very dry if it’s overcooked or left to cool at room temperature, so always serve your Saltimbocca when they’re still warm and never prepare them in advance.

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