Veal Saltimbocca alla Katie; the last of Rome

This photo is the Saltimbocca alla Romana I had in Rome.

For years I thought I was making Saltimbocca alla Rormana or Veal Scallops, Roman Style.

I was wrong.

Travel can be enlightening.

I was so excited to see my favorite veal dish on the menu as a house specialty in one of the restaurants we went to for dinner.

Naturally I ordered it.

It was wonderful – but bore no resemblance whatsoever to the veal dish I’ve been making for years.

The sauce was made with lemon and white wine and the sage was just a light sprinkle.

I use 2 or 3 whole, large sage leaves on each piece of veal and my sauce is made with Marsala, which is dark. Two tablespoons of tomato paste is stirred in at the end, thickening the sauce and turning it red.

I didn’t make this recipe up but it did come from a cookbook 25 or 30 years ago. I would now guess that it had been ‘Americanized’: ‘if it’s Italian the sauce must be red’ or something of that sort.

I will now confess that adding the cheese is purely my idea. But…. melted cheese? How can that be wrong?

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Veal Saltimbocca alla Katie

This is a sage-lovers dish: tender veal, fresh sage leaves, Prosciutto and Fontina cheese. Serve with gnocchi or pasta

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Beef


  •  thin (or pounded) veal scallops, 10oz (300gr) total weight
  • 3 slices Prosciutto, sliced in half
  • 2oz (60gr) Fontina cheese, sliced thinly
  • 12 large, fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) Marsala 
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) beef stock 
  • 2 tbs tomato paste 


  • Heat oil in large nonstick skillet. Quickly brown veal scallops on both sides. 
  • Remove and put on an oven-safe platter. 
  • Add Marsala and beef stock to skillet and let simmer while you assemble the Saltimbocca. 
  • Place 2 sage leaves on each veal scallop. 
  • Lay a slice of ham on top of the sage and top with cheese. 
  • After the sauce has simmered and reduced a bit add the tomato paste to thicken it.
  • Spoon a bit of the sauce on and around the veal. 
  • Put the Saltimbocca into a 225F (105C) for 10 minutes. This allows the cheese to melt, the ham and sage to cook a bit and the flavors to blend. 
  • Remove and serve with remaining sauce on the side.


Chicken breasts or tenders, pounded thin can my substituted for the veal – use chicken stock rather than beef.
You can substitute Madeira or Tawny Port for the Marsala

Keywords: veal, saltimbocca, sage

Veal Saltimbocca

It’s not the same as the real Saltimbocca – but we’re happy. I’m going to make it the proper way next time.

A few last photos from Rome:

An obelisk and a fountain.

My salad for lunch one day.

Just the everyday arch at the beginning of a street….

Perfectly cooked steak for dinner.

A last view of the Forum from the Palantine Hill.

Next up: Tangier.

2 thoughts on “Veal Saltimbocca alla Katie; the last of Rome”

  1. Interesting the difference between yours and what you were served. What you were served was a bit closer to what I’d do for chicken piccata sans the capers. I think you’re probably correct though that if it’s Italian, we’ve Americanized it so it all must have some type of tomato in it.

    I shall miss your Rome pictures, but am looking forward to all the others.

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