Saltimbocca alla Romana

Or, if you want to translate literally, jump in the mouth as the Romans do. You can see why, even on British menus, they stick to the original. I mention it in today's Tom Eats! so I thought I might include the recipe. It's incredibly easy to make. The fact that my last attempt wasn't terribly successful was down to the quality of the ingredients I used.

Traditionally saltimbocca is made with veal escalopes, sliced very thinly. Anna del Conte's recipe involves rolling the three ingredients and flouring the roll. She also uses white wine instead of Marsala. You can use pork fillet, cut into escalopes and flattened out. Make sure they are very thin. At Rico's I had a very nice dish described as Chicken Saltimbocca, but the cooking technique is a little different.

Here is the classical version. Obviously quantities will vary according to appetite and the size of the prosciutto slices. I'm basing this on medallions about 6 - 8 cm in diameter. You will also need toothpicks to hold the ingredients together. When seasoning, remember that the ham is salty.

Ingredients (serves 2)

6 veal medallions, very thinly cut; 2 - 3 slices of Parma ham or equivalent, each cut into three; 6 sage leaves; 1 tbsp olive oil; about 30g butter; small glass of Marsala; salt and pepper to taste.


Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. Lightly season the veal with s & p. Put a sage leaf on each piece of veal, then a piece of ham on top. The ham should be roughly the same size as the veal. Use a cocktail stick to hold each sandwich together.

Heat the butter and oil till the butter begins to foam. Cook until the veal is nearly cooked, turning once. This will only take a minute or two per side. Add the Marsala, and bring to the boil to reduce the liquid. If this takes more than a minute, remove the meat to a warmed plate, and get the sauce to the consistency you wish. Check the seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and serve immediately. A squeeze of lemon seldom does any harm.

Tom Cooks! will return in mid-September.


  1. Janet Hood on 27th August 2021 at 9:37 pm

    Can’t wait to try this

    • Tom Johnston on 28th August 2021 at 9:24 am

      It’s easy peasy, but worth trying to get veal. The pork fillet version is OK, but veal is better.

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