Veal saltimbocca with roman-style gnocchi

Ask your butcher to cut escalopes from the veal nut (part of the leg) or backstrap. When cooking veal, to ensure it stays tender and moist always lean towards undercooking.


  • 8 x 80g veal escalopes, pounded
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 16 sage leaves
  • 8 thin slices of prosciutto
  • Plain flour, for dusting
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp salted baby capers, rinsed well
  • 1 tbsp dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp chicken stock

  • For the gnocchi
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 20g butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup fine semolina
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Oil and butter, for frying


For the gnocchi, heat milk with butter, salt and nutmeg. When at boiling point, add semolina and stir continuously with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the mixture dislodges from the sides and bottom of saucepan, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 tbsp grated parmesan. Mix until melted, then add egg yolks and combine. Check seasoning.

Immediately turn gnocchi mixture onto a well-oiled baking tray and spread with a spatula until completely even and flat. Set aside to cool, then cut into small circles (or triangles if you don’t have a cutter).

Season the veal on both sides.

Place two sage leaves on each piece of veal, then cover with a prosciutto slice. Roll up and secure with toothpicks. Lightly dust with flour.

Heat the oil and butter in a shallow pan. When butter starts to foam, fry veal on all sides until golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, parsley and capers, continuously shaking the pan for about a minute. As garlic turns golden, add white wine, then stock. Simmer for a minute, turning the veal in the sauce. Remove veal from heat and cover with foil.

Fry the gnocchi on both sides in a non-stick pan with oil and a little butter until golden brown.

Share the gnocchi over four plates and sprinkle with extra parmesan. Plate the veal next to gnocchi and spoon the pan sauce over the veal.

NOTES: First published in the Good Weekend.