London, 10th January 2012 – The festive season has come and gone. I spent the holiday with my family in Italy, first in a small village in the mountains of Abruzzo where my dad was born, and later in my beloved hometown: Rome.
I like to walk quietly through the streets of Rome and immerse myself in its unique atmosphere of alleys paved with cobblestones, artistic fountains, remains of monuments from the Roman Empire, and impressive baroque churches.
At lunch and dinner time, the streets are filled with aromas of freshly cooked food; and outdoor tables are full of hungry people. The dishes listed on the menu are mainly traditional Roman recipes, but there are also new recipes made using traditional Italian ingredients. These dishes have a simple but excellent taste and reflect the need to cook healthy dishes in line with our modern lifestyle: busy but often sedentary.
I have come back home to England with lots of ideas and many traditional and non-traditional Italian recipes to try out and share on this blog!
I like to start my new year of blogging with a classic dish of the Roman tradition: the Saltimbocca. I had already published a recipe with similar ingredients, Saltimbocca di pollo (Chicken Saltimbocca), but this recipe uses veal instead of chicken as the tradition requires. I, together with my Mum, made this dish during the holidays.
You should ask the butcher to cut slices of veal 5mm thick, or otherwise flatten thicker veal steaks (1-2cm) with a meat hammer. Try to have medium size veal escalopes which are easier to turn on a frying pan, compared with larger ones.
RECIPE WITH STEP BY STEP PICTURES
SALTIMBOCCA ALLA ROMANA
SERVES 4, PREP 10 MINUTES, COOK 4 - 5 MINUTES
- 4 veal escalopes 5mm thick
- 4 sage leaves (if you do not have fresh sage, you can use dried sage)
- 4 thin slices of prosciutto crudo (Parma ham)
- ½ cup of plain flour
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 20 g butter
- sea salt (optional as Parma ham is already quite salty)
- 40 ml white wine
Place the sage on top of the 5mm veal escalopes (my Mum uses dried sage, I prefer one leaf of fresh sage on each escalope).
Lay the prosciutto slice on top to cover the veal escalope.
Pour flour onto a large plate and then press each veal escalope/prosciutto-‘sandwich’ into the flour to coat it on both sides.
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the floured veal escalopes with the prosciutto side up and cook them over a medium heat for 2 minutes.
Turn each escalope carefully.
Place a piece of butter (~5 g) on each escalope.
Add the wine and cook for further 2 minutes.
Turn the escalopes again and let the meat soak in the glossy sauce. Serve the Saltimbocca alla Romana warm with rustic bread!
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