Tuscany Now’s Featured Recipe – veal Saltimbocca with polenta
Veal saltimbocca and polenta, so authentic and traditional in Italy, can sometimes seem both exotic and unapproachable to an English chef. With both veal and polenta more easily to acquire than ever before, and also with much higher ethical standards, now is the time to explore this Italian classic. Deliciously simple, this Northern Italian dish is simple and pretty easy to prepare, relying on the quality of your ingredients.
Veal Saltimbocca with soft cooked polenta and a rocket salad
to serve two, as a main course.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
TOTAL: 60 minutes
2 veal escalopes
4 pieces thinly sliced prosciutto
4 sage leaves
knob of butter
2 handfuls rocket
a good grate of parmesan
1. Flatten your escalopes (put them between two sheets of clingfilm, and use a large metal spoon or back of a small frying pan to bash them until they are thinner).
2. Lay each flattened escalope on its slices of prosciutto, and lay the sage leaves in the centre of the escalope. Then roll the escalope tightly, with the prosciutto tight around the outside, and pin with a toothpick. Put them into the fridge for 20-30mins, to let them settle into their rolls (not necessary, but I find this inhibits the roll’s propensity to unfurl as you fry).
3. Remove your escalopes from the fridge, if you put them there, to bring them to room temperature. Measure out your polenta (around 75g per person) into your saucepan. For flavour, add chicken or vegetable stock to your boiling water. This adds a richness to your polenta. With a ratio of 4:1, add 4 times as much boiling water as you have polenta, and let thicken for a couple of minutes before turning down to simmer gently. You’ll have to be on hand for frequent stirring, though not as frequently as risotto – keep your eye on your pan, and stir every few minutes. Now, back to the veal.
4. Slide a nob of butter (20g or so) into a frying pan, and let it melt. Remove your toothpick and cook your escalopes until well browned all over,and then pour a small glass of marsala over them. Let this hubble bubble for a few minutes, watching your marsala simmer down to a reduced, thickened sauce.
5. Add any extra butter to your polenta which you think it needs, and plenty of salt and pepper. Polenta and butter are a match made in heaven. Also add a few good scrapes of parmesan, again, to your taste.
6. Slice your escalopes into four or five, and place them delicately on top of the polenta you have spooned into a bowl, or plate. Add a handful of rocket for a peppery, biting contrast to the sweet, salty richness on the plate, and certainly don’t forget to spoon over your reduced marsala sauce.
Tuscany Now got in touch with food blogger Phoebe of The Edible Woman, whose blog rotates around a passion for food, from reviews to recipes. We decided to feature her veal saltimbocca recipe as a Tuscany Now featured recipe this week.
Phoebe is a writer based in Leeds, whose passion for cooking progressed naturally towards writing a food blog! With a wedding on the horizon, The Edible Woman explores the best ways to be creative within a budget, bringing craft and DIY into the blog as well as recipes spanning from chutneys made from foraged berries to baci, a sumptuous mix of pistachio, orange and dark chocolate. Through her blog Phoebe explains her life, one meal at a time.