I found this recipe in a 2007 issue of Cuisine at Home. This magazine just starting showing up one day and kept coming for about a year before it stopped. I never did find out why or if someone bought it for me and never told me. The same thing just happened with Martha Stewart Living…I just got an issue with my name on it and I have no idea why. I’m suspicious it may have something to do with my recent posting where I admitted to stealing a recipe from Martha at my hairdresser’s. Anyone trying to make an honest woman out of me? Or is there some mysterious magazine subscriber out there who’s trying to feed my food obsession? I’m not sure, but as it’s close to the holidays, I’m guessing someone will reveal themselves soon…stay tuned.
Anyway, this recipe for saltimbocca isn’t a true one, but it’s got all the elements-sage, prosciutto-and it’s a great weeknight version. And my husband made inexplicable sounds as he was eating it, so I took that as a good sign. The original recipe for the side dish, spinach tagliatelle (recipe below), called for pappardelle, which you can use if you want to make homemade or if you can find it dried. I can’t, so I use dried tagliatelle instead as I don’t want to make homemade pasta on a weeknight. You could also make this with smashed potatoes and parsnips or mashed potatoes, as long as you’ve got something to soak up all that fantastic Marsala sauce (which you can’t see much of in the above photo because we had eaten most of it by the time my husband took the shot!)
Serves 2 (with leftovers for someone’s lunch!)
About 35 minutes from start to eating, unless you haven’t pounded out chicken before, then give yourself 10 extra minutes or so to figure that out
Special equipment: meat mallet
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
6 sage leaves, roughly chopped + 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
8 oz crimini (or other button) mushrooms-large ones, sliced and the rest quartered or halved
1/2 cup sweet Marsala
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 oz prosciutto, chopped
2 tbsp butter
-Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Place pieces, one at a time, in a plastic bag or between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Then pound with meat mallet until 1/4 inch thick. Season one side of breasts with salt and pepper. Then tear the 6 sage leaves into large pieces, divide them evenly between the breasts and press them into the same side you salt and peppered. (If making the tagliatelle, prep the ingredients now and put on a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.)
-Heat a large saute pan over high heat for 1 minute. Add oil. Wait another minute and then place 2 pieces of chicken in the pan, sage side down. Saute until browned, about 3-5 minutes, reducing heat to medium-high if it seems like they’re cooking too fast. Turn and cook 2 more minutes, then transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. (It’s better to under cook these breasts a little bit because they’ll finish cooking under the foil. If you overcook them, they get tough. It really doesn’t take long to cook the chicken this way, which is why it’s a good method to know. Once you know it, you can try different sauces and have a fabulous dinner in minutes.) Repeat with remaining chicken.
-Add butter to the pan and when it foams, add mushrooms and saute over high heat until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. (Put pasta in the boiling water now for the tagliatelle.)
-Add the Marsala next, deglazing the pan and scraping all the bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the stock next and bring to a boil. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half, 5 minutes.
-Remove from heat and stir in the prosciutto, the chopped sage and the butter. Stir until the butter melts, then taste and adjust seasoning as needed. (Finish the tagliatelle now and serve with chicken).
Spinach and tagliatelle
8 oz. dried tagliatelle
3 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
2 tbsp butter
1/4-1/2 cup cream
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
-Prepare all ingredients. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pan with spinach, Parmesan, and butter. Stir until spinach is wilted then stir in 1/4 cup cream and salt and pepper. Taste and see if you want more cream or salt and pepper. The flavors in this dish are subtle and won’t compete with your saltimbocca, which will add the bit of zest it needs to make this all work as a meal.