Veal Saltimbocca Is Sure To Impress
What a ridiculously impressive meal! If you’ve never tried veal saltimbocca, prepare yourself.
Saltimbocca means “jump in the mouth.” It’s a way of saying that the dish is flavor packed. And trust us, this saltimbocca recipe will knock your socks off!
What is saltimbocca? Thinly cut (or pounded) veal cutlets are lovingly wrapped with prosciutto and sage, then pan seared until just cooked through. Using cutlets means a quick cook time (which we always like; leaves more time for drinking wine!). And then there’s the saltimbocca sauce. Oh my god, the sauce! Let’s just say you may want a piece of bread on standby to sop up every last drop.
You can roll them or lay the saltimbocca flat — we have a strong preference, and we’ll explain why below. Either way, this Italian-inspired dish is luxurious to eat and is loved by all.
Ingredients For Veal Saltimbocca
- Veal cutlets
- All-purpose flour
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Fresh sage leaves
- Olive oil
- Unsalted butter, chilled
- Marsala cooking wine — this forms the base of the crazy flavorful saltimbocca sauce!
- Lemon wedges
How To Make Veal Saltimbocca
Begin by dredging the veal: Place veal cutlets in a large Ziplock bag (or bowl), then add flour, kosher salt, and pepper. Seal, then shake to thoroughly coat.
Wrap or secure prosciutto and sage onto cutlets: Place one piece of prosciutto on top of a veal cutlet. Add two sage leaves, then secure each leaf to the veal with 1 toothpick. Carefully turn the cutlet over, then place a second piece of prosciutto on the back. Secure with a third toothpick. Set aside and repeat with remaining cutlets.
Why not just wrap the veal cutlets with prosciutto?
You absolutely can! This is our selfish attempt to get as much crispy prosciutto on the cutlets as possible. We like placing one piece on each side of the veal, rather than wrapping one slice around, as that never seems to cover the majority of the cutlet.
To cook: Heat oil and 2 Tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add two veal cutlets, sage side down. Cook 2 minutes, then carefully flip. Cook 1 minute more, until prosciutto is crispy and veal has reached an internal temperature of 145F. Transfer to a plate, then repeat with remaining veal cutlets.
It’s okay to remove the cutlets when they’re a few degrees lower, as the veal will continue to cook and rise in temperature while it rests.
How to make the pan sauce: Add marsala cooking wine to the pan, then use a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits. Allow the wine to reduce for 1 minute. Turn the heat to low, then add chilled butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, swirling the pan as it melts into the sauce.
Tips For The Best Saltimbocca
Did you know that you can also place the prosciutto and sage on a cutlet, then roll it up before cooking? There are a few benefits to this: first, you don’t overcook the prosciutto. Second, you can fit everything in one pan; it will require only one batch of cooking.
However, there are some drawbacks: you get no crispy prosciutto (sad!), and also it takes much longer to cool the rolled veal cutlets. This is why we prefer to cook the cutlets flat, not rolled, as described above.
This is obviously a matter of opinion and there’s no wrong way to enjoy veal saltimbocca. Choose the method you prefer!
Also, because we’re cooking veal with a good amount of prosciutto, you’ll be better off if you only lightly season the cutlets with salt. Don’t over salt the veal — prosciutto is already quite salty.
As part of my Date Night In series, I’m offering up a few wine suggestions to serve alongside. Here’s the deal with saltimbocca: it is inherently salty. To work with that, we’re recommending wines that are acidic, fruity, or crisp. Avoid anything overly sweet, which will actually bring out the saltiness of the recipe.
Red wine: a fruit forward Pinot Noir (Oregon or Burgundy will have more pronounced acidity than those from California, so stick with the former) or a Rosso di Montalcino, which is the kid sibling to Brunello di Montalcino. Veal is expensive and delicate — do not overwhelm it with a big, in your face red or you’ll completely mask the flavor of the veal.
Rosé: For the sake of matching the food to the region where the grapes come from, we’ll suggest looking for dry, crisp rosés from Italy, particularly Tuscany.
White wine: Vernaccia (a Tuscan wine with good acidity and crisp notes) would be lovely. The first time we made this at home we enjoyed it with a Vinho Branco from Portugal, and I have to say it was stellar.
Veal is for sure not an every day ingredient. It’s a special meat that deserves a delicate hand. If this is your first time cooking veal, we’re certain that you can execute this saltimbocca beautifully (it’s easier than you think!) and we hope this opens your eyes — and stomachs — to the wonderful world of veal.
If you make our Veal Saltimbocca recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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For more date night worthy dinner ideas, check out the following:
- Mozzarella caprese gazpacho
- Skillet chicken with white beans and kale
- Salmon piccata
- Shredded brussel sprouts Caesar salad
- Roast rack of lamb
Veal Saltimbocca (Saltimbocca alla Romana)
- 4 veal cutlets about 1 lb
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 8 pieces prosciutto
- 8 large sage leaves
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 6 Tbsp butter divided, chilled
- ⅓ cup marsala cooking wine
- 1 Tbsp chopped parsley for serving
- lemon wedges for serving
- Dredge the cutlets: Place veal cutlets in a large Ziplock bag (or bowl), then add flour, salt, and pepper. Seal, then shake to thoroughly coat.
- Assemble the cutlets: Place one piece of prosciutto on top of a veal cutlet. Add two sage leaves, then secure each to the veal with 2 toothpicks. Carefully turn the veal over, then place a second piece of prosciutto on the back. Secure with a third toothpick. Set aside and repeat with remaining cutlets.
- To cook: Heat olive oil and 2 Tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add two veal cutlets, sage side down. Cook 2 minutes, then carefully flip. Cook 1 minute more, until prosciutto is crispy and veal has reached an internal temperature of 145F. (Okay to remove a few degrees lower, as the veal will continue to cook and rise in temperature as it rests.) Transfer to a plate, then repeat with remaining veal cutlets.
- Make the pan sauce: Add marsala to the pan, then use a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits. Allow this to reduce for 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat to low, then add chilled butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, swirling the pan as it melts into the sauce.
- To serve: Either return cutlets to the pan or transfer cutlets to individual plates and spoon sauce on top. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
- Can substitute veal cutlets with chicken, pork, or turkey cutlets.
Kitchen tools used in this post: