Saltimbocca: So Good It Jumps in Your Mouth


I’m in New York City and meeting up with friends. On a brisk, sunny Saturday morning we’re off to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, the true NYC Little Italy.

We’ll spend the day cooking together, eating and drinking in northern Jersey. But first we have to decide on the menu and get everything we need to prepare our meal.

As is our habit, our first stop is Caffe DiLillo for a cappuccino and cornetto and to plan our menu. Our 4-course meal fell into place quickly.

My assignment is saltimbocca, the classic Roman dish, veal scaloppine topped with fresh sage and prosciutto and sauteed in butter and extra virgin olive oil. Saltimbocca is so good it’s moniker translates to “jump in your mouth”.

Saltimbocca is easy. I made enough for 8 at the table in about 15 minutes. The salty, crispy prosciutto enrobes fresh sage atop fork-tender veal scaloppine. Deglaze the pan with a dry, white wine to create a silky sauce and you’re done.

The dish works just as well with chicken. I used both veal and chicken scaloppine to satisfy the preferences of my table mates. Asparagus roasted with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and lemon completed each plate. Yum.

I made panna cotta for dessert too.

Buon appetito!

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Saute veal or chicken scaloppine topped with fresh sage and prosciutto in butter and extra virgin olive oil to create a dish that "jumps in your mouth."
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
  • 1 pound veal (or chicken) scaloppine
  • fresh sage
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin oil oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  1. Sprinkle the scaloppine with salt and pepper.
  2. Depending on their size, lay 1 or 2 sage leaves atop the scallopine.
  3. Cover the scaloppine with a thin slice of prosciutto.
  4. Tap the prosciutto with the back of a knife to attach it to the scaloppine.
  5. Lightly coat the scaloppine with flour. Tap off any excess flour.
  6. Put the extra virgin olive oil and the butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat.
  7. When the butter is melted and starts to foam, add the scaloppine and saute prosciutto side down until the prosciutto is golden and crispy, about 2 minutes.
  8. Saute the other side about a minute.
  9. Put the saltimbocca on a plate, loosely cover with foil and set aside.
  10. Saute the remaining scallopine.
  11. Over high heat, add the white wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up all of the crispy brown bits on the bottom of the plan and stir to dissolve the bits in the wine. Cook until the pan sauce thickens, about a minute.
  12. Pour the sauce over the saltimbocca and serve immediately.




3 Replies to “Saltimbocca: So Good It Jumps in Your Mouth”

  1. Is saltimbocca ever made with cheese? I seem to remember it that way although I’ve never made it. Good idea though. What else did you guys eat for 7 hours?

    1. Ciao Marie.

      In Italy saltimbocca doesn’t have cheese. I think that’s an Italian-American addition. By special request I put some fresh mozzarella on the chicken saltimbocca.

      You know these day-long gatherings. Lot’s of conversation and laughter and lots of food and wine. It takes time.

      We got most of the antipasti course at Mike’s Deli at the Indoor Market. He makes his own porchetta and marinated artichoke hearts that we always get. We added his green olive & celery salad, prosciutto di parma, pecorino encased in hot red pepper and a smoked mozzarella.

      The guy behind the counter recently came over from Salerno, just south of the Amalfi coast, the mozzarella heartland. He talked us into getting the fresh mozzarella he just made. He was proud of it and he wasn’t wrong. It oozed milk and was still warm when he gave us a taste. We made a cannellini and red onion salad while we plated everything up.

      The primi piatti was fresh linguine we got at the ravioli store with a basil cream sauce.

      Next came the saltimbocca and roasted asparagus and panna cotta for dessert.

      It was a fun day.

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