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.
Serves: 6 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 15 minutes
- 6 veal cutlets (about 2 pounds)
- 12 Slices Prosciutto di Parma
- 12 large leaves of sage, plus more for garnish
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup dry white wine
- Kosher salt and freshly black pepper, to taste
1Slice the cutlets in half and pound each cutlets ¼ inch thin. Season each cutlet with salt and pepper on one side only- do not salt the side the prosciutto will be on or it ill become too salty.
2Using a toothpick, secure a slice of prosciutto and a sage leaf on top of each cutlet.
3Add flour to a plate and season with salt and pepper. Whisk together. Dredge each cutlet through the flour, shaking to get rid of the excess flour.
4In a large 12 inch skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil over medium high heat, then add 4 cutlets, prosciutto side down first, into the pan. Cook about 3 minutes on each side.
5Add the wine to the skillet and cook until the sharp smell of the wine is cooked off, about 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining veal using a clean skillet.
6Serve veal on a large platter and drizzle with the sauce. Garnish with fresh sage.
NOTE: Do not let seat the cutlets after you flour them, or they will get soggy and won’t cook properly. If you are planning a dinner party, or you are not going to cook the meat right away make sure you wait until it’s time to cook before you coat them.