THE RECIPE OF ARTUSI
The first testimony dates back to the end of the nineteenth century when Pellegrino Artusi described this dish after having tasted it in the capital in the historic “Le Venete” trattoria.
The recipe quoted by the historic gastronome in “The science of cooking and the art of eating good” (in Italian: “La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene”) is as follows: “Small veal chops, seasoned lightly with salt and pepper, half leaf of sage on top of each (a whole leaf would be too much) and a slice of ham. To keep these three things together, they are pierced with a toothpick and cooked with butter to sauté; but give little fire on the ham side, because it does not have to harden”.
PREPARATION IN OUR RESTAURANT
In our restaurant in Trastevere the Roman saltimbocca follow the same procedure. The secret of making the meat softer and more pleasing to the palate is to flour it before cooking it in the pan.
Is it a kid’s play for a restaurateur preparing this dish? To some conditions. It is necessary that meat slices are not “ordinary” cuts (such as the pork loin, for example), but selected veal slices, and the detail of freshly seared ham is not at all trivial as it would make it too crisp and less delicate. Roberto, owner of the restaurant, is very attentive to these details: the veal meat, so tender, must “match” perfectly with the savory of the ham and the creaminess of the sauce. The use of a sage leaf gives a distinctive and deep aroma to saltimbocca to which they are rolled.
The saltimbocca have light ingredients, and they are a second wholly healthy dish.
The chef recommends the combination with a glass of “Vie Cave”, a delicious wine of the famous Antinori family. Tuscan red, with a very fruity flavor, with intense aromas linked by refinement in wood.