How to make saltimbocca

How to make traditional Italian saltimbocca

How to make saltimbocca

24 March 2016

How to make saltimbocca

Saltimbocca is Italian for 'jumps in the mouth' as that is exactly what this combination of tender veal, salty prosciutto and fragrant sage will do. Although commonly associated with Rome and often referred to as Saltimbocca alla Romana, the dish is actually believed to have originated in Brescia (which is where prosciutto is produced) and to have travelled down to Rome over time.




  • 4 veal fillets, each weighing 100g
  • 8 slices of prosciutto
  • 16 sage leaves
  • 50g of butter
  • 100ml of white wine
  • black pepper
Place the veal fillets between two sheets of baking paper and use a rolling pin to flatten them to a thickness of 5mm. Season with black pepper and place 2 sage leaves on each piece
Place two slices of prosciutto on each escalope and fold the edges in to contain it
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and fry for two minutes on each side until coloured and crispy. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for a few minutes before serving
While the meat is resting, heat the butter in the same pan until it starts to bubble and turn golden
Add the wine and shake to emulsify. Divide the veal between 4 plates and pour over the sauce


It is important to use higher welfare veal. However, if you cannot get hold of this, you can make saltimbocca with other white meat such as chicken, turkey or even pork.

For a crisper piece of meat, gently dust the veal in flour before frying.

Some recipes use the slightly sweeter masala instead of white wine to finish the dish.

Serving suggestions

Saltimbocca can be simply served with lots of crusty bread or some crispy fried potatoes and a simple salad. Russell Brown serves his Saltimbocca with a potato salad and zingy lemon gel. It also goes really well with a creamy bowl of polenta.

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