Saturday, 1 September 2012


You may notice a bit of a theme here – a couple of Sundays ago I felt like cooking something other than the usual Sunday roast, so thought about some of my favourite dishes to create a lunch. I started with the seafood salad in the previous post then proceeded to Saltimbocca, a classic Italian dish that translates, apparently, as ‘jumps in the mouth’.  Looking at Wikipaedia my versions has elements of both the classic and Roman versions, as it has a Marsala sauce but isn’t rolled up – the technicalities confuse me! At this point I admit I am not Italian and apologise if I offend anyone. 

This is traditionally made with veal, although in the UK it is often made with pork. However, now that British veal is so readily available, and so delicious, I have no qualms about going down the veal route. Most butchers and a lot of supermarkets now sell it – I got mine from Ocado and very delicious it was. This is quite a simple recipe and is good for a dinner party as it can be prepared way in advance – and actually the preparation isn’t that hard anyway. I served this with sprouting broccoli tossed in a little anchovy and garlic sauce, spinach and new potatoes.

 Serves 4 

8 small or 4 large veal escalopes
8 slices of Parma ham
8 large sage leaves (or 16 small)
8 toothpicks
Olive oil
Wine glass of Marsala 

If the escalopes are thick beat them out between two sheets of greaseproof paper or cling film until 5mm thick. Now the idea is to cover each escalope with Parma ham so, depending on the size of your escalopes use the appropriate amount of Parma ham. Then lay 1 or 2 (depending on size) sage leaves on top and secure the whole thing with a cocktail stick. They should then look like this:

Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan until moderately hot. Put the escalopes in Parma ham side down and cook for a couple of minutes, then turn over and cook for another 5 minutes or until cooked through. Put the escalopes onto a warm plate, and deglaze the pan with the Madeira, bubbling it well until syrupy. Serve the Saltimbocca immediately, drizzled with the sauce, and with whatever vegetables you fancy.

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