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Saltimbocca | RecipeTin Eats

Saltimbocca is a conventional Italian dish that’s super-quick and economical too! I like the textural distinction of the crispy prosciutto, tender meat and the silky white wine butter sauce. Historically made with veal, saltimbocca can also be glorious made with hen and beef.

HOT TIP: Nice feast / make-ahead recipe. Preserve it prepped within the fridge, then it’s only a 3 1/2-minute prepare dinner (together with the sauce!).

Saltimbocca sauce - a buttery white wine pan sauce
Saltimbocca with the standard white wine butter sauce made with (await it….) butter and white wine!


The literal translation of Saltimbocca is “to leap in your mouth” which might be in reference to the flavour that hits your palate on first chunk. But additionally, maybe, in regards to the pace at which it may be made. As in: So quick, it jumps in your mouth. You see what I did there??! 😂

A traditional Italian dish originating from Rome, Saltimbocca is historically made with skinny veal cutlets wrapped or topped with prosciutto, and a complete sage leaf usually pressed or pinned on high with a toothpick. Pan-frying turns the prosciutto golden and the meat inside is so skinny, it actually takes 2 1/2 minutes flat to prepare dinner. Then the buttery, silky white wine sauce is made in the identical pan – this takes simply one other minute!

It’s easy, traditional, rustic and fabulous. A cursory browse of web recipes present some moderately eyebrow-raising takes on Saltimbocca – rolled variations, skewered variations and variations smothered in cheese that look suspiciously like Parmigiana. Whereas truly true Saltimbocca is much easier. In spite of everything, why mess with perfection?

Freshly made Saltimbocca in a pan ready to be served

Veal, beef or hen Saltimbocca

As talked about earlier, Saltimbocca is historically made with veal. Nonetheless it really works simply as effectively with hen or beef, which for many individuals is less complicated to get and cheaper.

Veal vs beef Saltimbocca – I’ve tried each and listed below are the variations. Veal is a extra delicate, tender model of beef – with a lighter flavour and a extra giving texture. Beef, as soon as pounded into skinny steaks appropriate for saltimbocca, remains to be extra tender than a thick-cut steak however not as delicate as veal.

That’s to not say that veal tastes higher than beef in my opinion. They’re simply completely different! And completely different once more is utilizing hen for saltimbocca. Which can also be mighty scrumptious, I ought to add!

The hen saltimbocca pictured beneath was lunch yesterday. I snapped a fast photograph then hoovered it down nonetheless heat!

Eating Chicken Saltimbocca
Hen Saltimbocca served with a leafy inexperienced salad tossed with On a regular basis Salad Dressing.

Substances in Saltimbocca

Right here’s what it is advisable to make conventional Italian Saltimbocca:

Saltimbocca ingredients

Saltimbocca is unexpectedly economical, calling for simply 80g / 2.5 ouncesprotein and a pair of small slices of prosciutto per serve.

  • Veal (or hen or beef) – No matter your protein of alternative, it must be in a skinny piece of meat! It’s helpful if you should buy them as already thinly sliced steaks (generally bought as “sizzle steaks”, “scallopini” or “schnitzel” right here in Australia) so that they solely require a lightweight pounding out. In any other case, you’ll be able to slice meat your self after which flatten the steaks out. Right here in Australia, veal steaks specifically are all the time bought skinny, moderately than thick-cut like beef steaks.

    For those who’re getting ready your personal Saltimbocca meat, simply ensure you are utilizing a lower of meat that’s appropriate for quick-cooking like steaks. More durable cuts that require gradual cooking to make them tender comparable to chuck, ribs, stomach and shoulder (ie cuts you employ for stews and casseroles) usually are not appropriate.

    Hen – Use a complete breast, sliced into steaks and pounded out. See step pictures beneath for extra steerage (I promise it’s simple, and it doesn’t must be excellent, simply cook-able).

  • Prosciutto – That is what makes Saltimbocca, effectively, Saltimbocca moderately than a plain ol’ pan-fried piece of meat! Prosciutto can also be gives the principle seasoning for this dish. We solely add the tiniest pinch of salt within the sauce, and none on the veal!

    How a lot prosciutto you want – 4 small items or 2 very giant slices. Sufficient to cowl one aspect of the veal when folded over itself as a double layer of prosciutto. The underside isn’t lined in prosciutto (it may be made wrapped throughout however I favor not).

  • Recent sage – The important herb in Saltimbocca, sage pairs fantastically with the prosciutto and meat. It additionally brings a pop of color. I like the way it crisps up because it fries!

  • White wine – A splash of wine is the key to make a very tasty pan sauce with out fussing with plenty of substances. The wine is lowered to evaporate a lot of the alcohol, forsaking simply flavour. So it doesn’t style winey in any respect.

    Wine kind – Pinot grigio, being a wine selection fashionable in Italy, is becoming. Nonetheless I personally additionally like chardonnay for the assertive flavours this wine brings to meals.

    Truly any white wine will work wonderful right here, and even a glowing wine/champagne. Marsala is a fortified wine that’s generally additionally historically utilized in Saltimbocca in Italy, however observe it’s fairly candy and strongly flavoured – so use much less.

    Non-alcoholic sub: I feel non-alcoholic white wine could be the perfect different right here, adopted low-sodium hen inventory/broth (you’ll want to use low-salt else the dish could find yourself a tad too salty).

  • COLD butter – Butter is the way you remodel a watery liquid right into a silky, frivolously viscous sauce with out utilizing any thickening agent like flour or cornflour/cornstarch, correctly referred to as “mounting a sauce” in classical cookery. The butter should be chilly to ensure that it to work correctly, lower into cubes so it melts evenly and slowly into the sauce. Watch the sauce magic occur within the recipe video beneath.

Saltimbocca sauce
Chilly butter is the key to thicken watery white wine right into a silky buttery sauce!
  • Flour – That is used to mud the non-prosciutto aspect of the veal. As soon as cooked, it creates a skinny crust that offers the sauce one thing to cling to. With out it, the sauce simply slips off the floor of the meat like Teflon. It additionally helps make the veal or different protein get a little bit color on it within the very brief prepare dinner time.

  • Pepper solely – No salt required! The salt from the prosciutto is all we want on the veal. Though I do like so as to add a pinch into the sauce, it barely wants it.

  • Olive oil – For pan-frying the veal.

The right way to make Saltimbocca

As I re-read this submit, it dawned on me that I included a good quantity of step pictures for a recipe that I assured you is so quick and simple! It’s actually not onerous, I promise. I simply thought maybe assembling the Saltimbocca may be new to some readers so I needed to point out it step-by-step.

For those who’re an outdated hand at Saltimbocca nevertheless, you’ll be able to bypass this entire part. Right here’s all it is advisable to know proper right here:

The right way to make Saltimbocca: A shorthand recipe for execs!

  1. Assemble: Safe folded prosciutto and sage onto 3 mm pounded veal. Mud underside with flour.

  2. Prepare dinner: Prosciutto aspect 90 seconds, flip, 60 seconds on the opposite.

  3. Deglaze: Take away veal, discard extra oil. Deglaze pan with wine, flip off range, drop in butter and swirl to soften. Serve!

1. Assemble the saltimbocca

You can also make brief work of the prep if you buy ready-to-cook skinny slices of veal, which is how they’re sometimes bought right here in Australia. Hen and beef are additionally usually bought in thinly-sliced type right here.

How to make Saltimbocca
  1. Pound till skinny – Pound the veal to a 3mm thickness, then lower each bit to type 4 items of veal. It doesn’t matter what dimension or form the items are, extra vital is the thickness.

    Greatest solution to pound meat: Place the veal between 2 freezer luggage, baking paper (parchment paper) or purpose-made plastic sheets referred to as “Go-Between*” (pictured, see beneath) to guard the meat. Then use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the veal gently and evenly so it flattens uniformly.

    I exploit the toothed face of the meat mallet for pink meat (veal and beef), and the sleek face for hen, which is extra delicate.

    Reducing hen for saltimbocca – see data field beneath for detailed steps.

  2. Prosciutto – Sprinkle the veal with pepper (no salt, we get sufficient from the prosciutto). Fold the prosciutto in half then place on high of the veal. Be aware it’s doesn’t wrap the meat, it is just masking the highest floor.

  3. Safe with toothpick – Place a pleasant massive leaf of sage on high of the prosciutto, then safe each the prosciutto and sage in place with a toothpick. Pierce the meat from the underside, weave by way of the prosciutto and sage, then again out the underside. This fashion they sit flatter in opposition to the meat and prepare dinner extra evenly.

  4. Mud underside with flour – Press the aspect of the veal with out prosciutto on it into the flour, shaking off the surplus.

* Go-Between is a plastic sheet that is available in rolls, which you tear off to dimension like cling wrap. It’s used to guard delicate meats when pounding, and in addition to place between layers of issues to cease them from sticking (therefore the identify!) It’s particularly helpful for freezing issues.

The right way to lower hen for Saltimbocca

Hen breast is best to deal with for Saltimbocca. You’ll solely want one giant 220 – 250g / 7 – 8oz breast. Possibility 1: Slice in half horizontally to type 2 skinny steaks, pound to 0.5cm / 1/5″ thickness (utilizing the flat aspect) then lower each bit in half so you may have 4 items in complete. Possibility 2: Slice entire breast on a steep angle to make 4 steaks (steps pictured) then pound every one out. Be aware that I make hen steaks barely thicker than veal as hen flesh is extra delicate and is susceptible to ripping if too skinny.

Boneless thighs are another choice in the event you favor. Use 2 small thighs. Minimize open and unfold (butterfly) the thicker finish to even out the thickness, then pound.

2. Cooking Saltimbocca

How to make Saltimbocca
The golden stuff caught within the pan in Step 4 is known as “fond” and it’s free flavour for the Saltimbocca sauce!
  1. Sear – Prepare dinner the prosciutto aspect of the veal first till golden, round 1 1/2 minutes.

  2. Flip and prepare dinner the flour dusted aspect for 60 extra seconds.

  3. Take away the veal straight on to a serving plate (or particular person plates) to relaxation whereas we make the sauce.

  4. Discard extra oil within the pan. Tip it out, however don’t scrape the pan clear. All that golden stuff you see caught to the pan is known as fond. Fond is full of umami and concentrated flavour, and is the key to an unimaginable tasting pan sauce made with simply wine and butter!

3. Saltimbocca sauce

The pan sauce takes 1 minute flat to make: 30 seconds to scale back the wine then 30 seconds to swirl chilly butter cubes in till they soften to create a silky sauce.

How to make Saltimbocca
  1. Wine – Return the pan to the range then add the wine.

  2. Scale back wine by half – The wine will simmer quickly as a result of we solely use a small quantity (1/4 cup / 60 ml) in a big, scorching pan. Scale back by half, round 20 to 30 seconds.

  3. Add chilly butter – Flip the range off, scatter within the butter cubes and swirl the pan till the butter melts (or simply use a picket spoon). Melting chilly butter slowly on a turned off range is the trick to creating an opaque, thickened sauce just like the Saltimbocca white wine sauce. Excessive warmth means the butter melts quicker and turns into extra clear, and also you’ll discover the sauce received’t thicken as successfully. However, it’s nonetheless tasty!

  4. Thickened sauce – And right here it’s! Look how creamy and shiny that sauce seems. That’s what occurs whenever you slowly soften chilly butter right into a sauce!

    Be aware on sauce color: The ultimate color of your sauce will likely be affected by the quantity of fond within the pan. Extra fond = browner or extra orange-coloured sauce (like within the video). Much less fond = extra butter-yellow sauce, like within the pictures on this submit.

And with that, we’re accomplished! Tremendous quick, see? It HAS to be, or else you’ll overcook the veal. Time to plate up: put the Saltimbocca on serving plates then spoon over that dreamy sauce.

Saltimbocca on a plate, ready to be eaten
Eating Saltimbocca

What to serve with Saltimbocca

Starchy automobile – I all the time serve Saltimbocca over a starchy base appropriate for maximising enjoyment of the sauce. Which suggests creamy mashed potato on regular days, cauliflower mash on “I’m making an attempt to be good!” days, polenta on “I’m actually going for a correct Italian vibe right here!” days, and bread for plate-mopping on “I can’t even deal with making mash at this time!” days.

Facet salad – Strive a aspect of Sautéed Garlic Inexperienced Beans, my favorite Tomato Salad. Or if pace is of the essence, a fast Italian Rocket/Arugula Salad. For one thing a little bit particular and completely different, like in the event you’re serving Saltimbocca for a cocktail party, this Bitterleaf Orange Salad or a giant Panzanella are choices that can flip heads!

Extra concepts in my vegetable sides part – you’ll be able to browse by vegetable kind which my buddies inform me they discover fairly helpful.

I’d like to know what you serve Saltimbocca with in the event you give this a go, let me know! – Nagi x

Watch how you can make it

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Freshly made Saltimbocca in a pan ready to be served



Faucet or hover to scale

Recipe video above. This rustic Italian traditional is fabulously fast to make due to skinny slices of veal that prepare dinner in 2 1/2 minutes flat. Historically made with veal, Saltimbocca can also be glorious with hen or beef. The trick to an amazing Saltimbocca sauce is to slowly soften in cubes of chilly butter by swirling the pan off the warmth. This thickens the sauce and makes it luxuriously silky. It is a stunner! Serve with mashed potato, cauliflower mash or mop your plate clear with bread.


Put together saltimbocca:

  • Pound: Place the veal between sheets of cling wrap or paper. Pound to a good 3mm thickness utilizing a meat mallet (Be aware 5 for suggestions!) Minimize each bit in half so you may have 4 items in complete, and sprinkle each side with pepper.

  • Prosciutto and sage: Fold a slice of prosciutto in half then place on one piece of veal (trim if wanted so it is not hanging off the perimeters an excessive amount of). Place a sage leaf on high then safe with a toothpick, piercing from the underside (see step pictures or video). Do the identical with the opposite piece of veal.

  • Mud: Unfold flour on a plate. Press the non-prosciutto aspect of the veal into the flour, shaking off extra (don’t flour the prosciutto aspect).

Prepare dinner:

  • First aspect 1 1/2 minutes: Warmth oil in a big fry pan over medium-high warmth. Place veal slices within the pan, prosciutto-side down, and prepare dinner for 90 seconds till prosciutto is fantastically golden.

  • Different aspect 1 min:Flip veal and prepare dinner the opposite aspect for 1 minute. Take away to a heat plate.

  • Tip out extra oil (don’t scrape pan clear nevertheless). Return skillet to range, with warmth nonetheless on.


  • Scale back wine: Pour in wine (cautious, it is going to be steamy!) plus pinch of salt. Convey to a simmer then let it prepare dinner for 20 to 30 seconds, stirring to scrape up the brown fond from the bottom of the pan, till wine is lowered by half.

  • Swirl butter: Preserve the pan on the range however flip the range OFF. Scatter the butter within the pan then swirl (or stir) till it melts. The clear liquid will thicken magically right into a luscious butter sauce!

Recipe Notes:

1. Veal is often bought in skinny steaks which is good, because it requires much less pounding out. Skinny beef steaks additionally work. Use quick-cooking cuts appropriate for cooking like steak (loin, topside, rump). More durable cuts used for stews and casseroles usually are not appropriate.
Hen breast – Use one breast round 220 – 250g / 6 – 7oz. Slice in half horizontally to type 2 factor steaks, gently pound to 0.5cm / 1/5″ thickness then lower every in half (so you may have 4 items in complete). Alternatively lower the breast on a steep angle into 4 items then pound out every of these. Prepare dinner 90 seconds on all sides.
2. Prosciutto – You want sufficient so you’ll be able to fold each bit of prosciutto in half over itself, and canopy a lot of the high floor of every piece of veal. It’s not an actual science, no have to get too hung up on dimension!
3. Butter must be chilly so it melts slowly into the sauce to ensure that it to thicken and turn out to be silky. Heat butter will soften too shortly and turn out to be foamy, like regular melted butter. However, it’s nonetheless tasty so don’t fret! It’s simply not “creamy” as pictured, which is the way in which Saltimbocca sauce must be.
4. Wine – Pinot grigio, being an Italian favorite, is an efficient choose. Chardonnay can also be glorious for flavour. Nonetheless another white wine is ok, so long as it’s not too candy.
Non alcoholic choice – non-alcoholic white wine is greatest, adopted by low-sodium hen inventory/broth.
5. Pounding – in the event you don’t have a meat mallet, then a rolling pin, an unopened can or something of comparable form/heaviness will work simply wonderful. It’s very satisfying work! Use cling wrap, baking/parchment paper, “Go-Between” (a purpose-made plastic meals sheet) or freezer luggage to guard the meat as you pound it.
6. Leftovers – Saltimbocca is greatest served freshly-made, however leftovers will preserve within the fridge for 3 days. Not appropriate for freezing.
7. Diet per serving, assuming 1 tablespoon of cooking oil is discarded after pan searing the veal.

Diet Data:

Energy: 492cal (25%)Carbohydrates: 7g (2%)Protein: 21g (42%)Fats: 40g (62%)Saturated Fats: 18g (113%)Polyunsaturated Fats: 3gMonounsaturated Fats: 16gTrans Fats: 1gLdl cholesterol: 133mg (44%)Sodium: 220mg (10%)Potassium: 382mg (11%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 635IU (13%)Calcium: 16mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

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