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.




Little Scaloppine Bundles

Scallopine Rollatini


I had a “woo-lee” (desire) for veal scaloppine but I didn’t want to spend as much time as it would take to make one of the dishes from the 10—Super Versatile Scallopine video I posted last week.

In an effort to save time, here’s a 3-step version that is delicious and you can have it on the table in about 20 minutes tops! Use your favorite scaloppine–veal, chicken, turkey, or pork loin and simply roll it up with a basil leaf, prosciutto and fresh mozzarella (or a sage leaf and Italian fontina) and brown it in a saute pan with some EVOO and butter. I used veal, basil and mozzarella here.

Top the bundles with a pan sauce and you’re good to go. The scaloppine is fork tender and the prosciutto and basil are heated through with the mozzarella oozing out onto the plate. I’m serving chard sauteed with EVOO and garlic as the side but you can choose your favorite simple vegetable. I’m watching my intake so no starch this time around.

These little bundles are sometimes called scaloppine “rollatini” (little rolls with a filling) or scaloppine “ripieni” (stuffed). This cooking method is a great one to get under your belt. It’s similar to braciole that I make in my Sunday Gravy episode. I’ll post some additional recipes using this method –next up: eggplant rollatini.

In case you noticed, there’s a story behind the variant spellings of scaloppine (scallopine/scallopini which I use too). Curious? Stay posted.