Saltimbocca Alla Romana


3 1/2 pounds veal or beef round steak, 1/2-inch thick
1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound prosciutto, smoked ham or boiled ham, sliced paper thin
1/4 pound sliced Swiss cheese
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups water
Parsley sprigs

How to make Saltimbocca alla romana:

1.Cut bone and fat from meat; pound meat until 1/8-inch thick. Rub 1 side of meat with sage and pepper. Cut meat into 12 to 16 pieces, 4 or 5 inches square. Divide ham and cheese onto seasoned sides of meat pieces. Roll up each carefully from 1 side; secure with wooden picks.

2. Heat butter and oil in large skillet; brown meat on all sides over high heat, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Place meat (leave drippings in skillet) in baking dish, 13 x 9 x 2 inches. Arrange meat in single layer; set aside.

3. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Stir flour into drippings in skillet; stir in wine and water. Heat to boiling. Pour over meat rolls. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake until tender, veal 35 minutes, beef 70 to 75 minutes. Garnish with parsley. Meat rolls saltimbocca alla romana can also be served cold, sliced thinly.

Serves 4

Regional recipe from Latium

A bit of Roman folklore.

Rome, in the summer, means eating outside; restaurants that are located where it is possible put a row of tables out on the street for their patrons, and if you take a walk through the Centro Storico you will find many families that have done the same, enjoying their meal in the evening breeze or talking as they finish their wine.

Roman cooking is supremely well suited for this sort of dining; it’s largely based on light, quickly cooked dishes, for example spaghetti all’amatriciana (pasta with a quickly cooked, zesty tomato sauce with pancetta or guanciale), saltimbocca alla romana, a huge bowl of fresh salad, or strawberries (ideally from Lake Nemi, served with lemon juice or wine) and abundant white wine from the Colli Albani to wash it all down.

While the pasta dishes with humorous names are entertaining and abundant and always present in the trattorias of Transtevere in Rome, the second courses such as Saltimbocca alla Romana (jump into the mouth) are tied to the very antique popular traditions of the farmers in the surrounding countryside.