Saltimbocca and Puntarelle.
RECIPE (for 4 people)
Ingredients: Thinly sliced veal (4-5 slices, make sure they are pounded as thin as paper). Prosciutto (again, I prefer thin, about 4 or 5 pieces). 4 fresh sage leaves. Butter, white wine. Flour. Olive oil. Toothpicks, trust me.
Place a handful of flour on a flat dish. Place the veal on the flour. Place a sage leaf on each piece of veal. Place a slice of prosciutto atop and secure into place with toothpick. NOTE: if you were my mom, before you put fix in the toothpick, roll the veal/prosciutto, and then secure with toothpick. In a large pan, add olive oil on medium heat and then butter until it melts. Place the saltimbocca on the pan. Let it cook and then add a dash of wine. Do not turn over the saltimbocca – it ruins the prosciutto and really annoys me.
Ingredients: 2 heads of puntarelle or other green shoots like chicory. 1 large clove garlic. Pinch of coarse sea salt 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets or a large squeeze of anchovy paste (I use Balena). 2 table spoons red wine vinegar, 4 table spoons extra virgin olive oil. Black pepper.
Get your puntarelle ready. Domenica Cooks has an excellent receipe for shaving and cutting up puntarelle. I usually buy it from my market already shaved.
In a small mixing bow, add thin slices of garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, black pepper and anchovies. Mix until it looks a little muddy. Add to puntarelle.
How to shop and cook like a local in Rome
Cooking while traveling not only can help your budget, but it’s also a great way to learn more about the local food culture. So if you’re in Rome, do as the Romans do — or in this case, as By The Way City Guide writer and Roman local Erica Firpo does.
Erica’s “favorite meal of all time” is “saltimbocca alla Romana,” a simple dish made of veal, prosciutto and sage, cooked in butter and white wine.
“It reminds me of every Sunday at my parents’ and my grandparents’ house. We’d always have saltimbocca, ” Firpo says.
Firpo guides us through her neighborhood’s outdoor market, procuring fresh sage leaves, prosciutto and veal. She lives near Campo de’ Fiori, a large piazza in the neighborhood of Regola that transforms into a market during the day. While the market is a popular site for tourists, there is still an undercurrent community of locals in which everyone knows everyone — the butcher, the baker and the cappuccino maker.
“The key to a Roman market, in my opinion, it’s all about relationships. It’s the people. And it’s how they talk to you and how you talk to them,” Firpo says.
A version of this original appeared in Washington Post, January 2020