Saltimbocca alla Romana
Saltimbocca literally translates from Italian to “Jump in the mouth!” It is an ancient Roman dish consisting of thin veal cutlets, prosciutto and fresh sage leaves. It is rolled up, secured with a toothpick and sautéed in a dry white wine and butter. I added some Fontina cheese for that extra “jump in the mouth” flavour. This is a quick, delicious and elegant meal that would be perfect to serve for a special occasion or holiday. Typically, Saltimbocca is served with gnocchi but you could pair with pasta noodles, polenta, vegetables (potatoes) or salad. Instead of wine, you could substitute chicken stock and some freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Veal is “low in saturated fat, high in iron, zinc and B12, Ontario veal is a delicious, lean and nutrient-packed protein that is an ideal complement to a healthy lifestyle. According to a nutrient analysis, veal exceeds other meat protein sources in terms of nutritional benefits.” reference: ontariovealappeal.ca
- 4 (⅛” thick) milk-fed veal cutlets
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
- 4 thin slices prosciutto
- 8 thin slices Fontina cheese
- 4 large fresh sage leaves +(extra for garnish)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup unsalted chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound each veal cutlet evenly between two sheets of plastic wrap. Season veal lightly (as prosciutto has extra salt).
- Working with each piece of veal, place a slice of prosciutto on top, making sure to cover the veal but don’t overlap the sides. Add two Fontina cheese slices down the centre (break into smaller pieces if needed) and top with a sage leaf.
- Gently but tightly roll each veal slice into cylinders, starting with the wider end first. Secure with a toothpick that has been stitched along the length of the roll rather than stuck through it. Place the seam side of the roll (with toothpick) down on a dish. You could prepare the rolls ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to cook.
- On med-high heat in a cast iron or other heavy bottom fry pan, heat olive oil until hot. Add the 4 rolls and brown evenly, approximately 12-15 minutes or until the veal reaches an internal temperature of 160 F. Remove rolls from the heat and place on a platter, cover with foil to keep warm if serving soon.
- Deglaze your frypan by adding wine and chicken stock. With a wooden spoon or spatula scrape up any brown bits from the pan. Cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced, about 2-3 minutes. Swirl the butter in and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Taste and season accordingly. This produces a thinner style sauce. If you prefer a thicker sauce or gravy, dust each veal roll lightly with flour or cornstarch prior to frying.
- Pour the sauce over the rolls and garnish with sage leaves.
Recipe by Kim Ronzoni