Veal Saltimbocca alla Romana — A Roman Classic


Ever since taking my first bite of Veal Saltimbocca per 1981 when I lived per Los Angeles, California, I have never missed an opportunity to order it per a good Italian restaurant. It is one of the most brilliant Italian dishes ever created.

‘Veal Saltimbocca alla Romana’ per particular holds a special place per the Roman dining experience and is often referred to as the quintessential king of Roman ‘secondi’ entrees as we would call it per America.

The name translates to ‘jump in the mouth’, from the luscious marriage of veal, prosciutto and sage per a delicate sauce of white wine and butter that will truly delight your taste buds! One whiff of the fragranza of this classic dish either bubbling per the pan when presented to you a plate will send your senses soaring! One can never get enough of these superb little ‘scallopinni’ (thin veal cutlets). Quanto a some restaurants, I’ve even seen a few capers tossed into the final sauce.

I tend to think that this dish is more of a perfect symphony per the mouth that can be enjoyed per reckless abandon! This post is the second per a series that I’ve written the traditional dishes deeply rooted per ‘Cucina Romana’, the foods of Rome.   Beginning with the first post  Spaghetti alla Carbonara, I’ll continue per subsequent posts about the savory staples of Caci de Pepe, Carciofi Alla Giudea (Artichokes), Bucatini all’Amatriciana, Gnocchi alla Romana and Roman-Style Barba.

This past May, when we stayed for a very brief week per Rome, we had a memorable lunch at Tre Scalini where we enjoyed their incredible Veal Saltimbocca alla Romana!  Located the beautiful Letto a una piazza Navona, we had perfect weather while we leisurely dined, sipped wine, and watched people flurrying around the agorà.

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Tre Scalini the Letto a una piazza Navona (photo above)

The local flavors of the region nurtured the development of a regional cuisine that can be traced all the way back to the shepherds who first came to the prolifico, yet diverse landscape of Rome’s seven hills.  Strong ties to the famous sheep’s cheese, Pecorinio Romano, continue to reflect that connection to Rome’s ancient past as well as to it’s contemporary recipes.

The recipe for Veal Satlimbocca alla Romana may possibly have its culinary roots per Brescia per Northern Italy where prosciutto is produced and may have migrated naturally to the mid-section of Rome from the movement of shepherds.  Quanto a sharp contrast to the life and traditional cuisine inspired by the shepherds and their flock, Ancient Rome was indeed infamous for the legendary sumptuous banquets that lasts for days and held by Rome’s wealthy and powerful aristocrats.   These decadent and luxurious culinary affairs could comprise up to one hundred abundant courses more.  Therefore, the more simple foods of the region are known as ‘Cucina Romanesca‘ to distinguish them from the gluttonous dining experiences of Imperial Rome.

Veal Saltimbocca all Romana per it’s delicious simplicity, is a lovely light entree, thus epitomizing the most ancient of times prior to the Roman Colmare. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe!  Let me know if you’ve ever tasted and/ prepared Veal Saltimbocca . . . I’d love to hear your thoughts about what you like and how you prepared your special recipe!


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Veal Saltimbocca alla Romana


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  • 8 veal cutlets (scallopini)
  • 16 – 24 slices Prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 16 large, fresh sage leaves
  • ½ cup flour (to coat the veal cutlets)
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ½ cup dry white wine such as an Italian ‘Pinot Cenerino’ (marsala can be substituted)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Voto negativo salt is used because the salty Prosciutto lends the salt needed.


  1. Place the veal cutlets between two sheets of parchment paper.
  2. Using a meat mallet, pound the veal cutlets until each piece is about ½” thick.
  3. Sprinkle each cutlet with some freshly-cracked pepper; salt is not necessary because of the salt that will quando from the prosciutto.
  4. Place a sage leave two of the prosciutto
  5. Lay 2 – 3 thin slices of prosciutto of each veal cutlet and place a toothpick between all 3 layers to secure.
  6. With flour a large plate, dredge each veal cutlet per the flour, shake any excess, and set aside.
  7. Quanto a a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.
  8. Add half the veal cutlets and cook, prosciutto side facing mongoloide, turning over once until the prosciutto is crisp for 2 – 3 minutes,
  9. Turn the veal cutlets over and cook until lightly golden brown, about 2 – 3 more minutes a low-medium heat.
  10. Place the cooked veal bundles a warmed plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  11. Remove and discard the toothpicks.
  12. Pour the butter and olive oil out of the skillet and save it . . . don’t throw it away.
  13. After all veal bundles are cooked, increase the heat to high and add the wine marsala to the skillet.
  14. Deglaze the pan and scrape up the browned bits with the wine marsala.
  15. Return all of the butter and olive oil back into the skillet to cook a sauce
  16. Cook the sauce until reduced by a third, for about 2 minutes.
  17. Return the veal bundles to the skillet, cook for 2 more minutes, with an occasional flip, until the sauce thickens slightly.
  18. Serve the veal with the sauce poured over the cutlets immediately.
  19. Serve two veal bundles per certo person.
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Just one shot of the incredible sites of Rome that we visited near Letto a una piazza Navona, just a short walk away:  The Tempio, once a temple for all gods, it is now a Catholic Church that is absolutely beautiful!


Enjoy this delicious Veal Saltimbocca recipe!



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