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

Saltimbocca Alla Romana

Saltimbocca alla Romana is a simple and tasty veal meat dish, a secondo piatto typical of Roman cuisine since the 19th Century. The name literally means “jump-in-your-mouth”.

Saltimbocca only require very few ingredients, never wrapped up in a roll or floured before cooking, otherwise it would be a veal piccata which is another dish. 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 cooking time to a minimum.

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

  • Veal: 8 slices
  • Parma cured ham: 8 slices
  • Sage: 8 leaves
  • Butter, unsalted: 20 g
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 tbsp
  • White wine, dry: about half a glass
  • Salt and Pepper: to taste


Veal slices should be lean and tender, not too thick. If thy are, just put a slice of meat between two sheets of baking paper and then beat it up with a meat pounder.

Rinse the sage and dry it with a kitchen cloth.

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


Heat up the butter with EVOO in a non-stick pan until it melts, lightly brown the Saltimbocca on both sides for a couple of mins. Pour in the wine, add and pepper to taste and salt only on the side without the cured ham since it’s already savoury. Simmer until cooked through.

Tip: you can also cook them only on the side without ham and sage as the heat will cook it.

Pour the gravy 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 avoid to prepare them in advance.

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