Jump in your mouth
Do you remember that one dish that your mom made that would have you running to the table? For me, that was saltimbocca alla romana, heaven on my plate and in my mouth. Literally translating to “jump in the mouth Roman style”, saltimbocca are very thin veal strips garnished with sage and prosciutto and pan cooked in olive oil, butter and white wine. My mom took them to the next level: rottolati, tiny rolls of veal, prosciutto and powdered sage held together by a tooth pick, and they were my absolute favorite. I loved eating them, but more anything, I loved making them. Almost every Sunday afternoon, I’d be in the kitchen with my mom pounding the veal, lightly powdering in the sage, layering on a single strip of ultra thin prosciutto and then rolling each into tightly into involtini. Nothing more satisfying.
Living in Rome, I can safely say that I eat saltimbocca a few times a month and I’ve become an expert on critiquing my favorite dish. First of all, saltimbocca are prepared flat. My mom’s involtini are outdated. Second, saltimbocca alla romana is serious so If the veal is tough or thick, it’s poorly prepared and don’t eat it. If the prosciutto is thick, has not fat and tastes bad/tough, don’t eat it. And finally, if there is no sage leaf, don’t eat it.
Take a look my video feature on Washington Post where I shop Campo de’ Fiori for ingredients and teach you how to make saltimbocca alla romana in my kitchen in Rome. A big thank you to Massimo and Cristina at Campo de’ Fiori market, Ruggieri PIzzicheria and Maccelleria Campo de’ Fiori, we’ve been shopping with these amazing people for more than a decade, and they always make us smile.
Where I go in Rome for saltimbocca
Hostaria Farnesina, a small, family-owned and run restaurant on the edge of Campo de’ Fiori. The menu is Roman- in other words, traditional favorites including carbonara, gnocchi on Thursdays, oven-baked lamb, tripe, cicchoria and puntarelle. And of course, the amazing saltimbocca is delicious and divine carciofi alla romana (Roman artichokes). When you call for you reservation, tell them Darius and I sent you.
Via dei Baullari 109 (Campo de’ Fiori) 06 6880 1595