Pollo Saltimbocca


Mum in Wilderswill, Interlaken (right)

Mum left school and followed Zio Antonio to Hotel Jungfrau in Interlaken, Switzerland, where she got a job as a chalet maid. Young, beautiful, with jet black curls and an hourglass figure, she was admired by many male suitors of all nationalities. However, her parents had given Zio Antonio the job of being her chaperone. So desperate to court a Spanish boy, Martino, she slipped out of Antonio’s view under the pretence of spending the morning with Miss Kumar, her boss. Instead, she spent a glorious day visiting the lake with Martino; it was the first time she fell in love.

The following day, Martino came looking for her at the hotel and was intercepted by Antonio. “Can I see Luigia, please?”, Martino asked. “Why?” Antonio asked. “Because I enjoyed her company yesterday and would love to see her again.” Martino replied. “Leave me your number and I will give it to her.” Antonio suggested. Needless to say, she never got the note and never saw Martino again. Love’s Labours Lost – Mum thinks of Martino to this day.

This is an all time favourite of Mum’s. Meaning ‘jump in the mouth’, it is one dish you will never forget.

Pollo Saltibocca

Serves 4
4 skinless chicken breasts * 8 thin slices prosciutto * 8 fresh sage leaves * 2 tbsp plain flour * 4 tbsp olive oil * 30g (1oz) butter * 115ml (4oz) white wine * juice of 1 lemon * 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped * salt & pepper

Cut each chicken breast in the middle sideways and open out. (Will look like a heart shape). Place between 2 sheets of cling film, then flatten by bashing gently with a rolling pin. Remove the cling film and place a slice of prosciutto and a sage on each piece of chicken, close up and secure with a cocktail stick.

Season the flour with salt and pepper, then use to coat the chicken breasts. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the chicken pieces. Fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. It’s OK for the chicken to still be pink inside. Clean out the pan and heat up the butter until it is frothy.

Add the wine and lemon juice, bringing it to the boil. Add the chicken to the pan, spooning the juices over the top and cook for 3 minutes. Sprinkle over the parsley and serve immediately with roasted potatoes and a tomato salad.

I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.

This recipe comes from the section  THE ITALIAN JOB, a selection of authentic Italian recipes.