Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Saltimbocca alla Romana

Before writing about my new recipe for tonight, which I know you are dying to hear, I would like to thank all my readers and friends for the amazing support and encouragement.
I started this blog less than a month ago, and so far here is what I have: over a 1,000 page views (1152 to be exact, but who is counting?!) One recipe published on Tasteologie, one on FoodFrenzyDigest, three on Photograzing and six on Dishfolio. And the Caprese Bites recipe was in the headlines of The Italy Daily on Sunday March 30. Oh yeah! You can't see me right now, but I'm patting myself on the back :)
This is in addition to all your likes, shares and comments on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
But, what I have been the happiest about are the emails, phone calls and texts from my friends, excited about some of the recipes they tried out.
I am very passionate about the food I prepare and I love to see people inspired by my blog!
As a newbie blogger, this feels pretty amazing and I am extremely grateful. So: THANK YOU all!

Now, let's talk about what's for dinner tonight - something quick, fun and very Italian!
The Saltimbocca alla Romana, which means "jumps-in-the-mouth", is a classic secondo piatto prepared with veal cutlets or scaloppine. This thinly cut slices of meat are topped with prosciutto or pancetta, and sage, and cooked with white wine. Mouthwatering, right?
Traditionally the recipe uses prosciutto to wrap the veal cutlets. I prefer pancetta for this recipe, because it is sweet and delicate just like the prosciutto, but with a spicier flavor which is the ideal match for the sage.
Wait until you start cooking these cutlets: the Mediterranean aroma of the sage, the pancetta and the wine will flood your kitchen. Believe me, this is a very efficient and fast way to gather people around the dinner table!
Here is what you will need.

Ingredients for 4 people:
  • around  1 lb of thinly sliced veal (cutlets or scaloppine)
  • between 4 and 6 oz of pancetta, thinly sliced - enough to have one slice of pancetta for each saltimbocca. Note: if the veal cutlets are big, it's better to cut them in half. Each half will get one slice of pancetta.
  • fresh sage, one leaf  for each saltimbocca
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • a couple of tablespoons of flour
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
Preparation time: about 15 minutes to assemble plus 15 minutes to cook.

Step 1: Prepare the meat by pounding it between sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper, so that it has a uniform thickness. Cut each cutlet in half if too big.

Step 2: Top each slice of veal with one slice of pancetta and one leaf of sage. Secure everything with a toothpick as shown in my picture. Dredge the meat in flour and shake off the excess.

Step 3: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet for one minute over medium flame. Put the cutlets in the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until slightly golden. If you don't have a skillet big enough for all the meat, cook half first and then the second half later.
When you flip the veal, sprinkle with salt the bottom part, not where the pancetta and sage are. The pancetta is quite salty and the meat is very thin, so be careful not to add too much salt!

Step 4: Pour in the wine, or half of the wine if you are cooking only half of the meat. Let the wine cook for a minute so that the alcohol evaporates. Transfer to a oven-safe plate and keep warm in the oven if you need to cook the rest of the veal. When finished, serve pouring the sauce from the skillet over the saltimbocca.

I served my saltimbocca with oven "fries" and toasted baguette. If you are interested I will post the recipe for the potatoes: they look like fries but are baked in the oven! Shhh... don't tell my kids :)

Buon Appetito!

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