saltimbocca alla romana
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Saltimbocca alla Romana

Thin veal slices pinned with ham and a sage leaf, and dipped in a butter creamy sauce? Saltimbocca Alla Romana is quick and easy to make and an authentic taste explosion.

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Saltimbocca alla Romana one of the most well-known traditional Roman dishes. Exquisites thin veal slices, flavored with a sage leaf, and a slice of ham.

As a Roman, I am definitely in love with this main course. It’s extra flavorful and takes less than 10 minutes, so it’s perfect to fit into your weekly meal plans when the work routine makes cooking hard to plan.

The name of this dish already makes it clear how good it is!


Saltimbocca literally means “to jump in the mouth“. The succulent slices of meat, when just cooked, are so irresistible that they can be eaten in a single bite.

This recipe, which has been prepared since the XIX, and has spread everywhere in Italy and has subsequently become the subject of various customizations.

The origin of this recipe is from northern Italy, but in Rome, it has been definitively consecrated as an emblem of good home cooking.

In a few words, Saltimbocca is a small slice of veal, with a sage leaf and raw ham pinned to the meat with a wooden toothpick. The meat is then stirfried in a pan, and drenched with a very good dressing made with white wine and melted butter.

sage leaves

Preparation Tips

First of all, veal slices must be very thin, so it’s essential to slightly beat them; to achieve this I usually use a meat tenderizer that helps to untied all the nerves present in the meat.

As the main part of the dish lies in the creamy wine and melted butter sauce, it is important to use a non-stick cast iron pan, so that the meat comes off easily. A large pan is the best to arrange all the slices in a single layer and make them crispier.

Use a wooden toothpick to properly fix the ham and the sage to the veal slices, inserting it like a pin without rolling the meat.

Ingredients Choice for perfect Saltimbocca

  • The meat must be soft and easy to cut, for these reasons I usually opt for the Rump or the veal Round.
  • A good salted butter helps to make Saltimbocca even tastier and more sapid. One of my favorites is the Danish Lurpak Butter.
  • Ham should turn out salty but soft, which is why I find Parma Ham, which is not too seasoned, my favorite choice.

As I said, Saltimbocca is a traditional dish with ancient origins, but there are several variations. For example, you can enrich the dish by adding thin slices of red onion to be inserted between the ham and the sage.

Another version includes a crispy or pickled artichoke wedge, instead of onion.

For a very salty flavor, you can add capers to the cooking sauce, while you make it thicken after removing the meat from the pan.

For this recipe, I was inspired by that of the famous culinary critic Pellegrino Artusi, who however described the dish using pork chops instead of the veal.

One of the fundamental, in any case, is to taste these wonderful and succulent slices of veal, hot and just cooked, literally making them jump into your mouth in a single bite!

saltimbocca alla romana

Saltimbocca alla Romana

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Quick and easy to make, Saltimbocca alla Romana are an authentic scent and taste explosion: thin veal slices, flavored with a sage leaf and a slice of ham dipped in a butter and wine creamy sauce.


  • 4 slices of Veal
  • 4 slices of Parma ham
  • 8 Sage leaves
  • 40 g Salted Butter
  • 1/2 glass of white Wine
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. With the meat mallet flatten the veal to untie the nerves.
  2. Cut each slice of veal in half and arrange it on a work surface.
  3. Place in the center of each veal slice, half ham slice, and then 1 sage leaf.
  4. Take a toothpick and skewer the meat to fix the ham and sage by inserting it like a pin.
  5. Heat 40 g of butter in a pan.
  6. As soon as the butter begins to fry, arrange the saltimbocca one next to the other without overlapping them.
  7. Let brown the meat on both sides over a high flame for about 1 minute per side.
  8. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and sprinkle with the wine.
  9. Allow the wine to evaporate by completing cooking (5 minutes will be enough).
  10. Remove the slices of meat from the pan.
  11. Turn on the stove at low heat again, then pour a spoon of water and a pinch of salt into the sauce. 
  12. Cook the sauce a couple of minutes more over medium heat, then and remove the cooking juices with a wooden spoon to thicken it.
  13. Arrange the meat on a serving dish and sprinkle with the creamy sauce.
  14. Serve hot and eat immediately.


To get a thicker sauce, a trick is to add a teaspoon of potato starch (optional) to the butter and wine sauce. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 379Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 162mgSodium: 947mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 41g

Nutrition Data is automatically calculated and may be not accurate.

If you want to complete this incredible dish by accompanying it with a good portion of vegetables, take a look at Veggie Section and find your favorite.

I hope you’ve loved this recipe as much as I do!

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  1. I’m always up for a new challenge, especially when it involves new food 😋. This looks and sounds super delicious! Will definitely try the recipe. Thank you

  2. Kemisola Omotehinse says:

    Such a helpful post. Thank you for sharing

  3. This looks delicious!!! I have to save this on pinterest.

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