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The Blissful Gourmande "Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer."

Passport & Plate - Veal Saltimbocca alla Romana

Italy | Thursday, February 20, 2014 | 4 photos

* 4 thinly sliced veal cutlets
* 4 slices of prosciutto (Italian)
* 8 fresh sage leaves, plus more for garnish
* All-purpose flour, to be used for dredging
* 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
* 2 tablespoons dry white wine
* Kosher salt
* Ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup chicken broth
* Toothpicks for assembling

Place the veal cutlets on a sheet of plastic wrap. Put a piece of prosciutto on top of each piece of veal. Lay another sheet of plastic wrap on top and gently flatten with a rolling pin until the prosciutto has adhered to the veal.

Remove the plastic wrap then lay 4 sage leaves in the center of each cutlet. Weave a toothpick in and out of the veal to secure the prosciutto and sage. Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to combine. Dredge the veal in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large frying pan over medium temperature. Place the veal in the pan, prosciutto-side down first. Cook for 3 minutes to crisp it up and then flip the veal over and saute the other side for 2 minutes, until golden. Transfer the saltimbocca to a serving platter, remove the toothpicks, and keep warm. Important: Make sure you have removed ALL toothpicks.

Add the wine to the pan, stirring to bring up all the delicious flavor in the bottom; let the wine reduce for a minute or so to burn off some of the alcohol flavour. Add the chicken broth and remaining tablespoon of butter, swirl the pan around. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Pour the sauce over the saltimbocca, garnish with sage leaves and serve immediately.

Never will I forget, the euphoria I experienced from my first meal in Italy. That moment has changed my life and since then has led me on a different path, on an adventure of sorts. It has made me realize that life is a journey and that the most simple things in life are often the most beautiful. After a long plane ride in, we were starving. The sound of our suitcases rattled against the cobblestone streets as we passed through the tourist restaurants in beautiful Piazza Navona. The terraces were filled with faces from around the world, so we kept on walking. I was in search of a unknown place, a place I had never been to before. I knew that when I saw it, I would know. I believe I have a internal compass that guides me to hidden gems in any city. It's a feeling that draws me to an authentic, local experience. It is a feeling that insures me that I'm never lost, I am simply where I need to be. We walked down more alley ways, turned left and right, maybe another left and just as my boyfriend was about to suggest we turn back, there it was. Hidden from all the tourist buzz was the perfect little Italian restaurant in the heart of Rome, Antica Taverna. There were red and white checkered tablecloths and lively local Italians chatting away over a bottle of wine. I knew our first meal would be eaten here. I asked the waiter to bring me something delicious and told him that I trusted him, he smiled and bowed his head. I could smell the heavenly flavors of our dish as he glided through the restaurant towards our table. The savoury scent mixed with sage made heads turn. "Saltimbocca alla Romana" he said as he placed the dishes in front of us. We ate our meal in silence yet our eyes held a conversation. No words could describe what we were experiencing, only ohhh, ahhhh, mmmm. We were in love, in Italy, sipping on spectacular wine and eating the greatest meal of our lives. In that moment, life was perfect and we were exactly where we were meant to be. Now I make this dish at home to embrace those memories!

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