A curious detail: if you check the English entry of Wikipedia for trivia, you will learn saltimbocca are popular in southern Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Greece; if you check the German entry, you will find out they are a delicacy typical of the Rome area. I haven’t been to Rome yet, but I would not be surprised if the native never heard about it or you were served something totally different when you asked for them.

In any case, M. – a German – was kind enough to drive me through the complexities of the making of saltimbocca. I managed to reproduce it the day after without much effort. In the background, risotto alla milanese, courtesy of M.


  • As many veal cutlets or scallops as you need
  • As many slices of cured ham as you have slices of veal (if you want to be very precise, it has to be prosciutto. In my case, it had to be jamón)
  • As many slices of fresh sages as you have slices of veal.
  • Olive oil
  • Wooden toothpick


Flatten the cutlets if needed. Lay them a clean surface, then put on top of each a slice of prosciutto and top it with the leaf of sage. Affix the prosciutto to the veal with a toothpick.

Heat the olive oil in a  skillet and sauté the cutlets until done. Don’t put too many of them on the skillet, otherwise they will be boiled. You will need to allow more time on the veal side than the prosciutto side. Season to taste and serve them risotto alla milanese.

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