Chef Cesare Casella's Saltimbocca alla Romana with Prosciutto and Pork Tenderloin

Chef Cesare Casella's Saltimbocca alla Romana with Prosciutto and Pork Tenderloin

Saltimbocca means “jump in the mouth,” and these small pieces of pork topped with prosciutto and sage are meant to be eaten in a single bite. Scaloppine for saltimbocca, which originated in Lazio are traditionally cut from the leg of the calf but they may be made with whatever is available and inexpensive. In this version, the pork is sautéed in garlic-flavored oil and finished with lemon and white wine.

Chicken or veal scaloppine may be substituted for the pork cutlets. 


  • 12-16 oz pork tenderloin, sliced thin, pounded thin, and cut into
  • 6 pieces, about 8 centimeters (3 inches) square (50 grams/ 2 ounces each)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 30 grams ( 1 ounce) thinly sliced Casella's prosciutto, cut into 6 pieces
  • 60 grams ( ½ cup) toasted all-purpose flour - note: gluten free options are cornstarch or rice flour
  • 60 milliliters ( ¼ cup) olive, grapeseed, or canola oil
  • 1 clove garlic, in the skin, crushed with the heel of the hand
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 60 milliliters ( ¼ cup) dry white wine
  • 60 milliliters ( ¼ cup) chicken stock or water
  • Halved lemon slices, for garnish (optional)

Saltimbocca alla Romana with Heritage Prosciutto and Pork Tenderloin


Lay the tenderloin pieces on a cutting board and season to taste with salt and pepper. Lay a sage leaf, then a slice of prosciutto on top of each. Thread a toothpick through each piece to hold the sage and prosciutto to the pork.

Sprinkle lightly with toasted flour on both sides, patting off the excess. 

Combine the oil and the garlic clove in a small skillet (padella) and place over medium heat. 

When the oil is hot, increase the heat to medium-high, place the saltimbocca in the pan, prosciutto side down-working in batches if necessary so as not to crowd the pan-and saute (saltare) to brown, about 2 minutes; turn and brown the other side, about 2 minutes. 

Pour off the fat, but leave the meat in the pan. Remove the garlic clove. Return the pan to the heat and add the lemon juice, squeezing it over the meat. 

Drizzle the wine around (not over) the meat and deglaze (deglassare) the pan, turning the meat in the liquid, until the wine is reduced.

Remove the pan from the heat. Take the saltimbocca out of the pan, remove the toothpicks, and divide the meat between two plates.

Return the pan to the heat, add the broth or water, and reduce until it thickens slightly. Taste for seasoning and pour over the saltimbocca. Garnish with halved lemon slices, if desired.

Chef Cesare Casella hplds Saltimbocca alla Romana

Thank you to Chef Cesare Casella and The Fundamental Techniques of Italian Cuisine for the recipe.