Veal saltimbocca well deserves its status as a classic of Italian cuisine, and truly lives up to its literal translation, "Jump in the mouth". When cooking veal, to ensure it stays tender and moist always lean towards undercooking.
8 x 80g veal escalopes, pounded
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
16 sage leaves
8 thin slices of prosciutto
plain flour, for dusting
3 tbsp olive oil
40g unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
2 tbsp salted baby capers, rinsed well
1 tbsp dry white wine
2 tbsp chicken stock
For the gnocchi
11/3 cups milk
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 cup fine semolina
3 tbsp grated parmesan
2 egg yolks
oil and butter, for frying
FOR THE GNOCCHI, heat milk with butter, salt and nutmeg. When at boiling point, add semolina and stir continuously with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the mixture dislodges from the sides and bottom of saucepan, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 tbsp grated parmesan. Mix until melted, then add egg yolks and combine. Check seasoning.
IMMEDIATELY TURN gnocchi mixture onto a well-oiled baking tray and spread with a spatula until completely even and flat. Set aside to cool, then cut into small circles (or triangles if you don't have a cutter).
SEASON THE VEAL on both sides.
PLACE TWO SAGE LEAVES on each piece of veal, then cover with a prosciutto slice. Roll up and secure with toothpicks. Lightly dust with flour.
HEAT THE OIL AND BUTTER in a shallow pan. When butter starts to foam, fry veal on all sides until golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, parsley and capers, continuously shaking the pan for about a minute. As garlic turns golden, add white wine, then stock. Simmer for a minute, turning the veal in the sauce. Remove veal from heat and cover with foil.
FRY THE GNOCCHI on both sides in a non-stick pan with oil and a little butter until golden brown.
SHARE THE GNOCCHI over four plates and sprinkle with extra parmesan. Plate the veal next to gnocchi and spoon the pan sauce over the veal.
- Ask your butcher to cut escalopes from the veal nut (part of the leg) or backstrap.
Photography William Meppem Jennifer Soo Styling Hannah Meppem Food preparation Nick Banbury