Traditional Saltimbocca is a beloved Italian classic for a reason. It's a beautifully balanced, savory dish featuring veal cutlets wrapped in salty prosciutto and crowned with fragrant sage leaves. But let's kick it up a notch. This recipe brings an extra layer of richness and depth by pairing the Saltimbocca with a tangy, homemade sun-dried tomato sauce. It's a feast for the senses that you can whip up in just 45 minutes, making it a perfect weeknight dinner or a show-stopping dish for special occasions.
What I love about this dish is its remarkable versatility. It's sophisticated enough for a dinner party yet simple enough for a cozy meal at home. I've laid out all the steps to ensure that even if you're not an experienced cook, you'll end up with something that not only looks incredible but tastes divine. And, if veal isn't your thing, don't fret; this recipe is just as delicious when made with chicken cutlets or thin pork scallopini. So grab your skillet, and let's get cooking!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Flavor Fusion: Adding a sun-dried tomato sauce brings a contemporary twist that will leave your taste buds dancing. The tangy, rich sauce complements the salty prosciutto and earthy sage perfectly, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.
Elegant Presentation: The rolled veal cutlets topped with sun-dried tomato sauce and fresh sage leaves make for a visually appealing dish that's sure to impress guests. It's restaurant-quality dining in the comfort of your own home.
One-Pan Wonder: This recipe utilizes a single skillet for the Saltimbocca and a saucepan for the tomato sauce, making cleanup a breeze. Less time doing dishes means more time savoring every bite.
Pairs Well: This dish goes wonderfully with a variety of sides—from roasted potatoes to a fresh green salad—making it easy to complete your meal.
How to Make Saltimbocca with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
Preparing the Saltimbocca:
- Season the Veal: Start by seasoning the veal cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Assemble the Rolls: Lay a slice of prosciutto on each seasoned cutlet, followed by two sage leaves on top. Roll up the cutlets and secure them with kitchen twine.
- Dredge and Cook: Lightly dredge the rolled cutlets in all-purpose flour, shaking off any excess. In a large skillet, melt unsalted butter with olive oil over medium heat. Add the veal cutlets and cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through.
- Keep Warm: Transfer the cooked cutlets to a baking sheet and keep them warm in a preheated oven at 200°C (400°F).
Making the Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce:
- Combine Ingredients: In a saucepan, combine sun-dried tomatoes, chicken or vegetable broth, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using).
- Simmer: Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and let it cook for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes soften.
- Blend: Transfer the softened tomato mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Season and Finish: Return the blended sauce to the saucepan, add grated Parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep the sauce warm over low heat.
- Remove Twine: Take the Saltimbocca out of the oven and carefully remove the kitchen twine.
- Plate and Serve: Place the cooked veal cutlets on plates and generously ladle the Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce over them.
- Garnish: Finish off with fresh sage leaves as a garnish and serve with lemon wedges on the side for extra zing.
- Pair: Enjoy your Saltimbocca with a side of your choice—roasted potatoes or a fresh green salad work wonderfully.
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Saltimbocca with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
Meat Thickness: The uniform thickness of your veal cutlets is crucial for even cooking. Use a meat mallet or a rolling pin to pound the cutlets to an even ¼-inch thickness. Place the meat between sheets of plastic wrap to avoid splattering and make the pounding process cleaner.
Securing the Rolls: Securing the veal rolls effectively is important for even cooking and presentation. Use kitchen twine to tie around the length and width of the roll, ensuring it’s snug but not overly tight. You want to keep all those delicious fillings inside the meat without squeezing out the natural juices.
Flour Dredging: This step is key to achieving that light, golden-brown crust on your veal cutlets. First, sift the flour onto a flat plate to remove any lumps. Roll the secured veal rolls in the sifted flour, ensuring all sides are evenly coated. Gently tap each roll to shake off any excess flour, which prevents the final product from becoming doughy or gummy. For an extra layer of flavor, season the flour with a pinch of salt and pepper or some garlic powder before dredging.
Prepping Ahead: The sun-dried tomato sauce can be made in advance. This not only saves you time but also allows the flavors to meld together even more. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days before you plan to use it. When you're ready, gently reheat the sauce on the stove, adding a little broth if it's too thick.
Freezing, Storing, and Reheating Saltimbocca
- Saltimbocca: Allow the cooked veal rolls to cool completely. Wrap each roll individually in plastic wrap and then place them in a zip-top freezer bag or an airtight container. Label with the date, and freeze for up to 2 months.
- Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce: Cool the sauce to room temperature. Transfer it to an airtight container suitable for freezing, leaving about an inch of headspace to allow for expansion. Label with the date, and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Saltimbocca: Store any leftover Saltimbocca in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce: The sauce can also be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
- Saltimbocca: For the best results, reheat the veal rolls in a preheated oven at 325°F (160°C) for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat them in a skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally for even heating.
- Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce: Reheat the sauce in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. If the sauce has thickened too much during storage, you can thin it out with a bit of chicken or vegetable broth.
Saltimbocca with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
- Meat mallet or rolling pin
- Kitchen twine
- Blender or food processor
For the Saltimbocca:
- 4 veal cutlets about 6 ounces each, pounded to ¼-inch thickness
- 8 large sage leaves
- 4 thin slices of prosciutto
- Salt and pepper to taste
- All-purpose flour for dredging
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce:
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes not oil-packed
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh sage leaves for garnish
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Place a large skillet over medium heat.
- To prepare the Saltimbocca, season the veal cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides. Lay a slice of prosciutto on each cutlet, and then place two sage leaves on top of the prosciutto. Roll up the cutlets and secure with kitchen twine.
- Dredge the rolled veal cutlets in flour, shaking off any excess. In the preheated skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the veal cutlets and cook for about 3 minutes per side, until browned and cooked through. Transfer the cooked cutlets to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.
- In the meantime, prepare the Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, chicken or vegetable broth, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes (if desired). Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened.
- Transfer the sun-dried tomato mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return the sauce to the saucepan and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep the sauce warm over low heat.
- Remove the Saltimbocca from the oven and carefully remove the kitchen twine. Plate the veal cutlets and ladle the Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce over them. Garnish with fresh sage leaves.
- Serve the Saltimbocca immediately, accompanied by lemon wedges for squeezing over the top. Pair it with your favorite side dish, such as roasted potatoes or a fresh green salad.
Saltimbocca with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce - FAQ
Absolutely, if veal is unavailable or not to your liking, you can use chicken cutlets or thin pork scallopini. Just adjust the cooking time based on the protein you choose.
Store any leftover Saltimbocca and sauce separately in airtight containers. They can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently over low heat to maintain the best texture and flavor.
This dish pairs beautifully with a variety of side dishes like roasted potatoes, risotto, or a fresh green salad. For wine, a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio or a light Italian red like Chianti are excellent choices.
The sun-dried tomato sauce can definitely be prepared up to two days in advance. As for the veal cutlets, you can assemble them (season, add prosciutto and sage, roll and tie) a few hours before cooking. Just make sure to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Remember to bring them to room temperature before cooking.
No worries! You can use the bottom of a heavy saucepan or a rolling pin to pound the veal cutlets to the desired thickness. Just be gentle and aim for a consistent ¼-inch thickness across each piece.
You can, but if you do, be sure to drain them thoroughly and adjust the liquid in the sauce recipe as oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes may contribute additional oil and flavor to the dish.