Before my second time in Rome, which happened about a year and a half ago, I have never actually tried the world famous saltimbocca. Shame on me. It just never occurred to me to order it when I could eat genuine Italian pizza. Me and pizza have a very special bond, you know.saltimbocca

Anyways, my dad finally encouraged me to try it when we were there with the family, and it opened my eyes. I am not a big fan of meat, except for when it’s minced or in between two hamburger buns. But seriously, how can meat be this soft and gentle in texture and taste. Combined with the saltiness of the parma or prosciutto, the strong flavour of sage, and the sweet marsala tones, it is literally a match made in heaven.

Don’t forget to remove the cocktail sticks!

The dish originates from Lazio, and translates to “jump in mouth”. I’m guessing because of the intense flavours that are represented. The most famous version is the one that I’ve made, with a flat escalope. However, the typical Roman saltimbocca uses the same ingredients but with rolled up veal escalopes. So if you’re feeling confident with this recipe, why not give that method a try!


  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 4 veal escalopes
  • 4 thin slices of parma or prosciutto ham
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 60 grams butter
  • Olive oil
  • 100 ml marsala

Used kitchen appliances

  • Baking paper
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Large frying pan with thick bottom


  1. Make sure the veal is as thin as possible (you could also ask your butcher to do this). If you’re not happy with the thinness yet, you could place baking paper on the veal and beat the meat with a meat hammer, or use a heavy cutting board.
  2. Place 1 slice of ham on each escalope. Put 2 sage leaves on top of each, and hold it together with the cocktail sticks.
  3. Heat 40 gr butter and about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan. Place the veal in the pan, ham-side first. Bake on high heat for about 2-2,5 minutes before switching sides and baking for another 2-2,5 minutes.
  4. Take out of the pan and let the veal rest between two plates. Add the marsala and the rest of the butter to the pan to create a nice sauce, it has to boil for about 1-2 minutes, depending on how thick you want the sauce to be.
  5. Serve the veal, remove the sticks, and cover with the sauce. Tastes great with Spaghetti Aglio e Olio or as a secondo following bruschetta.

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