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Traditional Saltimbocca Alla Romana

Saltimbocca alla Romana are slices of beef covered in prosciutto, dredged in flour and then pan fried in butter and olive oil. A robust sauce is then made with fresh sage leaves, Marsala and lemon juice from the brown bits in the skillet.

Saltimbocca Alla Romana.

This Italian dish is a great example of quality fresh ingredients trumping the number of ingredients. The techniques used are simple enough for beginner cooks and yet yields a beautiful, date-worthy dish that is actually easy to make and dirties only one pan.

Saltimbocca means ‘Jumps in the mouth’ in Italian. The many layers of flavors are developed from the prosciutto, fresh sage leaves, butter, lemon juice, Marsala, broth and the ‘brown bits’ leftover in the bottom of a cast iron skillet. These brown bits are packed with umami, something that is known as the ‘fifth taste’. These bits are deglazed with the Marsala and add depth of flavor to the velvety sauce that is then poured over the beef and prosciutto.

Although this dish looks pretty fancy, it actually uses basic-intermediate cooking skills and cooks up pretty quickly, thanks to the thinly sliced beef. A new cook can develop some handy cooking skills such as deglazing a pan, rolling beef into thin slices and making a reduction sauce. Don’t let the fancy Italian name scare you away from making this dish. It is actually very easy to make this traditional Italian dish that originated in Rome.

The only liberty I took was to add broth to the skillet after deglazing. I like sauce and I wanted to make a lot of it. Even though I used one cup of Marsala and one cup of broth, the reduction method yielded half a cup of glorious, velvety sauce. A sauce that is slightly thickened from the left over brown flour bits. No added salt is needed due to the salt from the prosciutto and broth.

So wether you are a new cook or a seasoned cook, everyone can have fun making and eating this magnificent Italian dish. We had fun by making a Saltimbocca sandwich on a hoagie. Or you may serve with Mediterranean Roasted Potatoes or a Simple Bruschetta.

If you want to experiment with Mediterranean spices and herbs, this Mediterranean Seasoning Blend may be super fun to play with.

Saltimbocca alla Romana Step-by-Step

Thin slices of beef with prosciutto on top.
Lay out thin slices of beef and cover with prosciutto slices, tuck underneath if necessary. You can buy beef already sliced thin in Mexican Markets.
Rolling out meat with a rolling pin.
Cover meat with plastic and roll thinner with a rolling pin. This makes the prosciutto stick to the meat as well.
Meat rolled out thin.
The prosciutto is sticking to the meat. These are now ready to dredge in flour and pan fry.
Butter in a cast iron skillet.
Add butter and olive oil to a hot cast iron skillet. If you preheat your skillet in a hot oven first, it will heat evenly and hold more heat than if you heated on top of the stove alone.
After dredging meat in flour and black pepper, fry on Both sides, about three minutes total over medium high heat. If your butter and oil starts to burn, turn down the heat. Add more butter and oil if necessary.
After all the meat slices are fried and set aside, it is now time to deglaze the pan with a wooden spatula and wine. Turn the heat down to medium.
When adding the wine, immediately scrape the brown bits. As the wine bubbles it is evaporating quickly.
Add more butter to pan along with the sage. Cook for a few minutes, until the butter starts to turn brown.
Sauce simmering.
Add the broth and stir well. Keep simmering until the sauce reduces by about half and is slightly thick and velvety.
Serve with the sauce drizzled over, garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

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Saltimbocca Alla Romana.

Traditional Saltimbocca Alla Romana

Yield: 6 slices
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Saltimbocca alla Romana are slices of beef covered in prosciutto, dredged in flour and then pan fried in butter and olive oil. A robust sauce is then made with fresh sage leaves, Marsala and lemon juice from the brown bits in the skillet.


  • 1.5 lb top round, sliced very thin
  • 6 oz prosciutto
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 Tbs black pepper
  • 4 Tbs butter, divided
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs roughly chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 cup Marsala, or any wine you have on hand
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • juice of half a lemon


  1. Place a large cast iron skillet on middle rack of oven and turn oven to 400F.  Preheat skillet for 10 minutes.
  2. While pan is heating, prep beef slices.  On a large prep surface lay out your beef.  Place prosciutto slices evenly across the beef slices, tuck under if necessary.
  3. Cover a few slices with plastic.  You may use a plastic bag or plastic wrap.  With a rolling pin, roll to flatten the beef further and also to press the prosciutto into the beef slices.  Move plastic around as necessary until all slices have been pressed.
  4. On a shallow plate, place flour and pepper, stir.
  5. When the pan is heated, place on a large stove burner set to medium high heat, add 2 Tbs butter and the olive oil.  Dredge beef slices through the flour and place in the pan.  Cook on one side for about 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side for one minutes.  Remove and set aside.  You can keep the beef hot in a warm oven or cover with aluminum foil.  Repeat until all beef slices have been cooked.
  6. In the skillet over medium heat, add butter and sage.  Stir until butter starts to brown, add Marsala.  Scrape the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon or spatula until all brown bits have been incorporated.  Add broth, stir frequently and simmer until reduced to a semi-thick velvety sauce.  Add lemon juice, stir.
  7. Serve beef and prosciutto with a drizzle of your sauce.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1-2 slices
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 538Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 1249mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 45g

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Saturday 27th of July 2019

I felt so fancy when I made this and yet it was simple. The dish tasted wonderful and juicy! Will be making this again.


Thursday 1st of August 2019

Oh my gosh, there's a few steps in there but so easy. I thought it was fancy too! I'll be making it again;)

Trish Bozeman

Wednesday 3rd of July 2019

Ooooh I've made chicken saltimbocca and it was wonderful! Thanks for all the step by step shots to make this approachable and easy!


Tuesday 2nd of July 2019

Thanks for the education.....I've not only never tried this, I've never heard of it either. Such an interesting flavor profile. I'm intrigued...will let you know how it goes.


Tuesday 2nd of July 2019

What a delicacy! So tender, salty, and flavorful. This is one of those must-have treats that should be enjoyed at least a few times a year. The prosciutto adds SO much flavor.


Monday 1st of July 2019

The sauce you made with it sounds amazing. You are making my mouth water with this - it looks delicious! I'm all about adding prosciutto too - such a great combo!

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