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.
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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.
Saltimbocca alla Romana Step-by-Step
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