Veal saltimbocca with Roman-style gnocchi

Neil Perry
The gnocchi, made from semolina, are a delicious way to soak up the saltimbocca's juices.
The gnocchi, made from semolina, are a delicious way to soak up the saltimbocca's juices. Photo: William Meppem

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

20g butter

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