It is true indeed, Tuscans for the most part are obnoxiously fixated with their own regional cuisine! We come from a small region, with small villages and many grandmothers: each one of us has a family recipe for anything that you can find on a traditional Tuscan menu. We are good eaters and hungry people by default, we enjoy our traditions on a plate and we always need a full glass of red wine to accompany our meals…. but what happens when we encounter foods that do not belong to our region? We just incorporate what we like in our menus, we stop talking about our traditions and we simply add the name of the region to whatever recipe we are preparing.
Saltimbocca alla Romana is a traditional dish from Lazio, which is a couple of hours south of Florence… if you happen to be in Rome dining in a restaurant, you would find this dish simply called Saltimbocca; given the fact you are already in Rome you kind of do not need to add the extra denomination to it. This is a very common way of describing and categorizing Italian regional food, and it works: Bistecca alla Fiorentina, Cozze alla Tarantina, Pesce alla Livornese… I would say that each city has at least a couple of menu items that made it out of the city’s wall and ended up in a kitchen or restaurant somewhere else. We do not need adjectives to describe the dishes as the place of origin of the recipe is usually the only description we need. The Fiorentina steak is thick, crisp on the outside and bloody red in the inside, the mussels alla Tarantina are spicy and served with garlic bread, the fish alla Livornese is served with a mild spicy red sauce and the saltimbocca alla Romana are cooked with white wine and sage… absolutely no room for error, absolutely no misunderstanding.
Enjoy this wonderful and easy recipe from the great Roman culinary tradition.