Saltimbocca recipe

Saltimbocca alla romana is a very traditional dish you can find in many restaurant in central Italy, especially in Rome. This saltimbocca recipe is very simple and yet super delicious. If you are thinking about meat rolls (involtini in Italian) think again. These are thin pieces of meat (usually veal but pork is tastier), cooked with prosciutto and sage, a light meat dish flavorful and incredibly easy to prepare.

A pinch of history about saltimbocca recipe

Even though this recipe originates in northern Italy, Rome is the city that made it famous. The name “saltimbocca” means “jump in the mouth”, showing that it was meant to be a dish to enjoy almost on the go. Maybe as some sort of street food in the past. The famous food writer Pellegrino Artusi talks about this dish in 1891 in his book “La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene” (The science in the kitchen and the art of eating well).

Saltimbocca recipe: tips and tricks

Saltimbocca, as we said, are bite size pieces of meat, and since they’re usually hold together by a toothpick, they’re perfect for parties and buffets. You can arrange all the pieces in a bowl or a plate, as small lollipops.
If you want a stronger taste you can use Speck  (smoked prosciutto from Trentino Alto Adige), or smoked ham.
The secret to making the perfect saltimbocca is, as usual, the quality of the ingredients. Buy the best meat you can afford, I usually choose pork instead of veal, I actually prefer pork and chicken meat, and veal is not my favorite. Tastewise the pork will give you a better result in my opinion, the meat is more flavorful and the texture also is more tender.
For a completely different version you could use chicken breast cubes, wrapped in prosciutto slices.
Whatever variation you prefer, in less than 20 minutes you will have a great dish!

And they’re great cold too 🙂


  • 500gr of veal or pork loin slices
  • a bunch of sage
  • 100gr of prosciutto
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 glass white wine
  • a bunch of toothpicks


Step 1
Beat the slices with a kitchen hammer or with a rolling pin to get very thin slices. If you have a cutter, you can buy a chunk of meat, put it in the freezer for a few hours and then slice it with your appliance. The slices should be 3mm thick.

Step 2
Cut the meat and the prosciutto into bite size pieces. Put the flour into a plastic bag with a pinch of salt and then add the meat. Shake to distribute the flour evenly onto the surface of each piece. Lay a piece of prosciutto onto each little slice, and then a sage leaf.

Step 3
Put the oil in a hot frying pan and add the saltimbocca. When it starts to sizzle, add the wine, let it cook for a couple of minutes and then cover with a lid. Stir from time to time and let it cook for about 5 minutes (it depends on how thick the slices are).

Step 4
Remove the lid and sprinkle some pepper. Turn the heat off and serve.

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