What to do with turkey you didn’t cook at Christmas Pt 1 – saltimbocca

When I wrote about our Christmas lunch, I mentioned that the turkey breast I’d bought was so huge that I cut the ends off and froze them to be used later on  and this is one of the things I’ve cooked with some of the meat. Saltimbocca is traditionally made with small veal escalopes, scaloppine in Italian, but they can also be made with pork, chicken or, as here turkey breast fillet. The name saltimbocca means “jump into the mouth”, and they really are a tasty and  enjoyable thing to eat.

The essential ingredients, apart from the meat are slices of Parma ham and sage leaves. Traditionally, they are rolled up with the ham and sage inside the veal (or turkey, as in this case) and secured with a cocktail stick, but I just folded the turkey fillets in half, having first beaten them out with a meat mallet. Once folded, I coated them in a little flour.

I seasoned them in the pan after first sealing them in foaming butter with a little olive oil added. They only take a few minutes to cook, turning them once, because you don’t want them to dry out. Once done, I removed them from the pan to keep warm while I deglazed the pan with some Marsala (a fortified Italian wine) and a little chicken stock, which I then reduced until it made a slightly syrupy sauce.

I served the saltimbocca with some egg pasta dressed with some truffle-infused olive oil and steamed asparagus and finished the plate off with some freshly-grated parmesan cheese and the sauce spooned over the meat.


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