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45 mins
Saltimbocca Recipe


An Ideal Recipe for EntertainingAn Unusual Recipe

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Saltimbocca is thought to have been invented in Brescia, where the name loosely translates as 'jump in the mouth'. Many recipies for Saltimbocca cook the veal flat and simply add herbs like sage flat on each piece of veal. The veal is then wrapped in prosciutto and fried.

The version I offer here is a little more complex, but the resulting taste and appearance are well worth the extra effort. I accompany it with a tangy lemon sauce, which is ideal to serve with pasta.

Ask your butcher to supply escalopes (slices) of veal cut thin. If you already have them and they are a little thick, you can cover each escalope with cling film and 'beat' it with a rolling pin to make it thinner. What you need are about 12 thin slices of veal about 10cm (4") square (no need to be too accurate about that!)

      Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

      Cooking Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients for Saltimbocca

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
Serves 6:
For the tomato paste
4 large
2 cloves
dried thyme
For the veal
12 thin slices
veal escalopes
12 slices
5 oz
For the lemon sauce
egg yolks
2 teaspoons
6 tablespoons
white wine
2 oz
4 tablespoons
crème fraîche


How to Cook Saltimbocca

  1. First of all, prepare the sauce. Roughly chop 4 large (or 6 medium) tomatoes and place them in a pan. Peel and roughly chop one onion and two cloves of garlic then add to the pan. Add a sprinkling of dried thyme and season with salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and allow it to reduce to about half its volume.
  2. When the sauce has reduced, allow it to cool a little then place into a blender and 'liquidate' until it is completely smooth or, if you don't have a blender, press the mixture through a sieve (strainer) and reject the solid remnants. Place the liquid back in the pan and reduce again until it becomes a 'paste'.
  3. One by one, place your veal slices on a worktop. Spread a little tomato paste onto the slice then season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with a little origano. Place a slice of pancetta and a thin slice of mozzarella onto each. Cut a leaf of basil on the top and roll the meat into a thick sausage shape. Do this for all your escalope slices.
  4. Place them onto an oven-proof serving dish so that they touch each other (that helps them hold their shape), drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Place in the middle of a preheated hot oven (Mk 6 - 375ºF - 200ºC) and cook for 15 minutes
  5. While the veal is cooking, make your accompanying sauce. In a pan, place the juice of two lemons, two egg yolks, two teaspoons of sugar, six tablespoons of white wine and 60g (2oz) of butter. Add a little salt and freshly ground pepper to season and, on a gentle heat, stir with a whisk until the sauce is rich and creamy. Remove from the heat and stir in 4 tablespoons of crème fraîche.
  6. Serve the Saltimbocca with fresh pasta and the lemon sauce.

Both sauces (fresh tomato sauce and lemon sauce) can be prepared in advance. If doing so, leave out the crème fraîche until you are ready to serve.
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