There are flavour combinations that can not fail. Veal with sage, Parma ham, white wine and cream is such a one. No wonder it’s a classic in Italian cuisine: it is known there under the name Involtini alla Romana, where involtini means roll. But a better known name for this combination of ingredients is Saltimbocca alla Romana. The main difference there is that the veal is laid out flat like a Schnitzel and not rolled.
Well, anyhow, Involtini has also become a recurring dish in our kitchen. Not only because of the killer flavours, but simply because it is easy and quick to make, actually something you wouldn’t expect from a dish tasting that good! Your guests might think you were standing in the kitchen for 3 hours to yield such flavours. Here’s my quick photo report recipe:
First of all, you need a nice bunch of fresh sage leaves, some nice thin cut veal filets (the one they use for Schnitzel in Vienna), some Parma ham (but any other cured/dried raw ham would do the job just fine), white wine for cooking, some Crème Fraiche. Some chopped shallots and a garlicclove wouldn’t be wrong either.
Involtini means rolled, and most often the rolls are fixed with small skewers or toothpicks, but if you’re a little careful, just folding them works well (the searing will do the sealing :P) Lay the veal fillets out flat, add salt and pepper and a few sage leaves, then lay out one slice of ham and fold-in the ends. Chop some shallots and peel a garlic clove ( Don’t chop it. We only need a slight garlic touch and that way you can take it out later).Then, heat up a pan!
When the pan is really hot, add some butter and brown the involtini on both sides. Add the minced shallots and the garlicclove but before they get burned, pour in a glass of white wine or two, maybe a dry Riesling or even better: a dry Italian white. Let it reduce a few minutes, then turn down the heat and stir in a few spoons of Crème Fraîche. Add salt and ground pepper to taste. Voilà!
So here it is on the plate, served with some mâche salad. Please excuse the bad pic quality: I was really hungry at that point! :=)