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Saltimbocca | RecipeTin Eats

Saltimbocca is a conventional Italian dish that’s super-quick and economical too! I am keen on 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 ceremonial dinner / make-ahead recipe. Hold it prepped within the fridge, then it’s only a 3 1/2-minute cook dinner (together with the sauce!).

Saltimbocca with the normal white wine butter sauce made with (look ahead to 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, concerning the velocity 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 typically 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 cook 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 relatively eyebrow-raising takes on Saltimbocca – rolled variations, skewered variations and variations smothered in cheese that look suspiciously like Parmigiana. Whereas really true Saltimbocca is way less complicated. 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 properly with hen or beef, which for many individuals is simpler 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, continues 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 for my part. 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 under 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.

Elements in Saltimbocca

Right here’s what it’s worthwhile 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 useful 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 possibly can slice meat your self after which flatten the steaks out. Right here in Australia, veal steaks specifically are all the time bought skinny, relatively than thick-cut like beef steaks.

    In case you’re getting ready your individual Saltimbocca meat, simply be sure to are utilizing a reduce of meat that’s appropriate for quick-cooking like steaks. Harder cuts that require gradual cooking to make them tender akin to chuck, ribs, stomach and shoulder (ie cuts you utilize for stews and casseroles) aren’t appropriate.

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

  • Prosciutto – That is what makes Saltimbocca, properly, Saltimbocca relatively than a plain ol’ pan-fried piece of meat! Prosciutto can also be supplies the primary 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 facet of the veal when folded over itself as a double layer of prosciutto. The underside shouldn’t be coated in prosciutto (it may be made wrapped throughout however I favor not).

  • Contemporary 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 extremely tasty pan sauce with out fussing with numerous substances. The wine is lowered to evaporate many of the alcohol, abandoning simply flavour. So it doesn’t style winey in any respect.

    Wine sort – Pinot grigio, being a wine selection common 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 high quality 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 believe non-alcoholic white wine can be the most effective various right here, adopted low-sodium hen inventory/broth (make sure to use low-salt else the dish could find yourself a tad too salty).

  • COLD butter – Butter is the way you rework a watery liquid right into a silky, calmly 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 have to be chilly to ensure that it to work correctly, reduce into cubes so it melts evenly and slowly into the sauce. Watch the sauce magic occur within the recipe video under.

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 facet 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 bit color on it within the very brief cook 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.

Tips on how 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 straightforward! It’s actually not laborious, I promise. I simply thought maybe assembling the Saltimbocca is likely to be new to some readers so I needed to indicate it step-by-step.

In case you’re an previous hand at Saltimbocca nonetheless, you possibly can bypass this entire part. Right here’s all it’s worthwhile to know proper right here:

Tips on how to make Saltimbocca: A shorthand recipe for professionals!

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

  2. Prepare dinner: Prosciutto facet 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 may 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 typically bought in thinly-sliced kind right here.

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

    Finest 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 under) 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 purple meat (veal and beef), and the graceful face for hen, which is extra delicate.

    Slicing hen for saltimbocca – see information field under 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. Observe it’s doesn’t wrap the meat, it’s only overlaying 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 the prosciutto and sage, then again out the underside. This fashion they sit flatter towards the meat and cook dinner extra evenly.

  4. Mud underside with flour – Press the facet 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 measurement 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.

Tips on how to reduce 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 kind 2 skinny steaks, pound to 0.5cm / 1/5″ thickness (utilizing the flat facet) then reduce each bit in half so you have got 4 items in complete. Possibility 2: Slice entire breast on a steep angle to make 4 steaks (steps pictured) then pound every one out. Observe 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 if you happen to 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 known as “fond” and it’s free flavour for the Saltimbocca sauce!
  1. Sear – Prepare dinner the prosciutto facet of the veal first till golden, round 1 1/2 minutes.

  2. Flip and cook dinner the flour dusted facet 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 known as fond. Fond is filled with 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 cut 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 gained’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 to be. That’s what occurs if you slowly soften chilly butter right into a sauce!

    Observe 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 carried out! 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 attempting 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 right now!” days.

Aspect salad – Attempt a facet of Sautéed Garlic Inexperienced Beans, my favorite Tomato Salad. Or if velocity is of the essence, a fast Italian Rocket/Arugula Salad. For one thing a bit particular and completely different, like if you happen to’re serving Saltimbocca for a cocktail party, this Bitterleaf Orange Salad or a giant Panzanella are choices that may flip heads!

Extra concepts in my vegetable sides part – you possibly can browse by vegetable sort which my mates inform me they discover fairly useful.

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

Watch tips on how to 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 cook dinner in 2 1/2 minutes flat. Historically made with veal, Saltimbocca can also be glorious with hen or beef. The trick to a fantastic 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 an excellent 3mm thickness utilizing a meat mallet (Observe 5 for suggestions!) Minimize each bit in half so you have got 4 items in complete, and sprinkle either 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 isn’t hanging off the edges 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 facet of the veal into the flour, shaking off extra (don’t flour the prosciutto facet).

Prepare dinner:

  • First facet 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 cook dinner for 90 seconds till prosciutto is fantastically golden.

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

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


  • Scale back wine: Pour in wine (cautious, it will likely be steamy!) plus pinch of salt. Carry to a simmer then let it cook 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: Hold 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 usually 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). Harder cuts used for stews and casseroles aren’t appropriate.
Hen breast – Use one breast round 220 – 250g / 6 – 7oz. Slice in half horizontally to kind 2 factor steaks, gently pound to 0.5cm / 1/5″ thickness then reduce every in half (so you have got 4 items in complete). Alternatively reduce the breast on a steep angle into 4 items then pound out every of these. Prepare dinner 90 seconds on both sides.
2. Prosciutto – You want sufficient so you possibly can fold each bit of prosciutto in half over itself, and canopy many of the high floor of every piece of veal. It’s not a precise science, no have to get too hung up on measurement!
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 best way Saltimbocca sauce needs to be.
4. Wine – Pinot grigio, being an Italian favorite, is an effective choose. Chardonnay can also be glorious for flavour. Nonetheless another white wine is okay, so long as it’s not too candy.
Non alcoholic possibility – non-alcoholic white wine is finest, adopted by low-sodium hen inventory/broth.
5. Pounding – if you happen to don’t have a meat mallet, then a rolling pin, an unopened can or something of comparable form/heaviness will work simply high quality. 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 finest served freshly-made, however leftovers will preserve within the fridge for 3 days. Not appropriate for freezing.
7. Vitamin per serving, assuming 1 tablespoon of cooking oil is discarded after pan searing the veal.

Vitamin 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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