Walking through the garden I suddenly realised that our Sage was growing precociously. And precocious sage means one thing – Saltimbocca! What could be better than Saltimbocca?…….. Saltimbocca with extra crispy sage!
Classic Saltimbocca alla Romana is not surprisingly thought of as a Roman dish. Despite this it was probably invented in Brescia the home of prosciutto crudo. Saltimbocca alla Romana is made with veal escalope with sage leaves wrapped in prosciutto crudo. A rough translation of the name is ‘jump in the mouth’ and this dish packs enough punch to do just that.
The recipe here is a variation on this classic Saltimbocca and we have used partridge breast as a substitute for the veal. As long as you are not a ‘culinary purist’ this works really well; and works even better served with crispy fried sage.
The partridge breasts are a good modest size for this dish but needed to be flattened slightly. They were covered in clingfilm and gently bashed with a rolling pin until less than 1cm thick. The clingfilm was discarded. A couple of freshly picked sage leaves (stem removed) were placed onto the breast which was then wrapped in 2 pieces of prosciutto. There was no need to season the breast as the prosciutto acts as the seasoning. Make sure the edges of the prosciutto are neatly tucked out of the way and you are ready to go!
The BGE was set up for direct cooking. We used our handleless Tefal Ingenio frying pan and heated it over a medium heat (around 140-150C dome temperature). Once the pan was warm we added 1 tbsp butter and a drizzle of oil. The 2 wrapped escalopes were popped in the pan and fried on each side for about 2 minutes until beautifully coloured.
When cooking the first side we added some more sage leaves and fried them till crispy. As we were ready to turn over the escalopes the sage leaves were nicely fried, and were carefully lifted onto the cooked side of the escalope whilst the other side was cooked. The meat and accompanying sage leaves were removed to a warm plate and covered with foil to keep warm.
The pan was put back on the heat and the remaining butter was added along with the masala. This was simmered for a minute to produce a lovely simple glossy sauce.
This can be served simply with a salad, polenta or fried potatoes and crusty bread.
On this occasion we added some cauliflower topped with finely shredded sun-dried tomatoes and sautéed asparagus. The asparagus was simply pan fried in a little oil for a minute or 2. The dish was finished off with a little fresh lemon ……………..
………………… and those wonderfully crisp sage leaves!
Partridge breast with sage wrapped in prosciutto
- 2 Partridge breast
- Sage leaves
- 4 slices of prosciutto crudo
- 2 tbsp butter
- Olive oil.
- A glug of Masala
- 2 Lemon quarters
- Step 1 Cover the partridge breasts with clingfilm and gently hammer them with a rolling pin until less than 1cm thick. Discard the clingfilm.
- Step 2 Place a couple of fresh sage leaves (stem removed) onto each breast. Wrap the breasts in the 2 slices of prosciutto. Tuck in the edges of the prosciutto neatly.
- Step 3 Set up the BGE for direct cooking at around 140-150C. Allow the pan to heat on the grid. Add a tbsp of butter and a drizzle of oil. Place the 2 wrapped escalopes in the pan and fry on each side for about 2 minutes until beautifully coloured. When cooking the first side add some more sage leaves to the pan and fry until crispy. Remove and set aside.
- Step 4 Turn the meat and cook for a further 2 minutes then remove to a warm plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Step 5 Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining butter along with the masala. Simmer for a minute to produce a lovely simple glossy sauce.
- Step 6 Serve simply with a salad, polenta, fried potatoes or crusty bread. Finish with a wedge of lemon together with the crisp sage