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"Roast Beef, Medium, is not only a food. It is a philosophy. Seated at Life's Dining Table, with the menu of Morals before you, your eye wanders a bit over the entrées, the hors d'oeuvres, and the things à la, though you know that Roast Beef, Medium, is safe and sane, and sure."

Edna Ferber (1887-1968), U.S. author. Roast Beef, Medium, Foreword (1911)

Wow. What a flavor this has! Most Saltimbocca recipes use sage, but I like this just the way it is. This is inspired by a restaurant that used to be in my neighborhood called Ciro's.

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes    Serving Size: 4

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, clarified
  • 9 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg (optional but suggested)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 4 thin slices Prosciutto di Parma
  • 4 veal scaloppini
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sauvignon blanc wine
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
Click on picture for more images.

To clarify the butter, place a large skillet over low heat. Add butter and allow to slowly melt. After about 10 minutes, use a teaspoon to scrape the top of the melted butter and discard the white milk solids. If you have a very small hand-held strainer, you can run that through the butter to remove the solids. This process may take a total of 15 minutes. Once all of the milk solids have been discarded, the remaining oil is the clarified butter. Shut off heat until ready to brown the veal.

Place 1/4 cup water in a large saucepan with 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg and a pinch of kosher salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat and start adding fresh spinach. Cover for a minute then start tossing with tongs. As the spinach wilts, add more, toss and cover. Once all the spinach has wilted, usually in about 5 minutes, turn the heat off and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain the spinach in a colander and lightly press some of the water out with the tongs. Unlike most applications using steamed spinach, it is not necessary to completely squeeze out all of the moisture. Slice the fresh mozzarella into 1/4 inch slices and set aside with the spinach. Have prosciutto ready.

To prepare the veal, ensure it is no more than about 1/8 inch thick. If thicker, pound lightly from the center out with the flat side of a meat pounder. Once all slices are 1/8 inch thick, use the pointed side of the pounder and once again lightly pound both sides of the veal to resemble cubed steak. Try not to tear through the meat; just cube it.

Place scaloppini on a plate and lightly salt and pepper both sides. Sift flour into a shallow wide bowl to remove any lumps. Dredge the scaloppini in the flour and shake off any excess. Place back on the plate and let sit 5 minutes while heating the clarified butter. Heat the clarified butter over medium-low heat and sauté the four scaloppini 4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Do not over cook or cook over high heat-it will toughen. Remove to the plate and set aside. Remove the pan from the heat.

With the pan off the heat, pour in the lemon juice and wine. Place back on medium-low heat and stir to pick up any brown bits (fond) on the bottom of the pan. Let reduce slightly for 5 to 10 minutes. While the sauce reduces slightly, assemble the saltimbocca.

Place one slice of prosciutto on top of each veal scaloppini. Now divide and spread the spinach evenly over each piece of prosciutto. Follow with sliced fresh mozzarella to cover the little packets. Remove the reduced sauce from the heat and turn the flame to low. Place the remaining 3 tablespoons of cold butter in the middle of the reduction and stir constantly until melted and sauce has thickened. Put pan back over low heat and add each saltimbocca packet to the sauce but do not cover the packets with sauce. Place the lid on the pan and let stand 5 minutes so cheese just starts to melt. Spoon sauce on warmed plates, place the saltimbocca in the sauce and drizzle more lemon-wine sauce around each saltimbocca. Serve with a side of spaghetti and marinara and/or an antipasto salad.