Sunday Dinner Main Course: Pork Saltimbocca

Pork Saltimbocca 1

Tony, our son Gio, and I enjoy coming up with dinner menus inspired by new recipes or just some of our favorite dishes, and this week’s Scaloppine of Pork Saltimbocca is the perfect main course for a Sunday dinner.

When translated from Italian to English, saltimbocca means “jump in your mouth,” and once you try this savory specialty you’ll understand why. Our version of this dish features tender cutlets of pork tenderloin topped with salty prosciutto ham, mild and creamy fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh sage leaves, complemented with a lemon butter sauce. These flavors are well-balanced and relaxed with each other, and Tony likes to say that the taste experience “dances on the tongue.”

Roman in origin, a saltimbocca dish traditionally features veal, but this high-end meat can be expensive and is often difficult to find in our region. Instead, we’ve found pork tenderloin to be a great substitute, as its excellent flavor and tenderness work well with the scaloppine preparation.

Scaloppine is a method in Italian cuisine where slices of meat (typically veal, but chicken and pork can also be used) are pounded into thin, tender cutlets, or scallops. The cutlets are then dredged in flour and quickly pan-fried, then served with a tomato or wine-based sauce. We love preparing meat this way, as it cooks in minutes and comes out unbelievably tender.

The process for Pork Saltimbocca is an easy one, but requires some advance preparation as several ingredients may not be staples in your pantry. To begin, a whole pork tenderloin is sliced into half-inch medallions, which are then pounded with a meat mallet until they are about 1/8-inch thick. This step can be done up to one day in advance if desired.

Pork Saltimbocca Ingredients 2

Each cutlet is lightly dredged in flour and pan-fried on each side in olive oil for about one to two minutes, then transferred to a baking sheet and topped with a slice of prosciutto and fresh mozzarella to be finished in the oven. The sauce for this dish is a simple lemon butter sauce which must be prepared just before serving, so it’s important to wait until the sauce is ready before baking the cutlets.

The same pan is used to make the sauce so that all those leftover little brown bits of meat can bring flavor and depth to the dish. Lemon juice, white wine and water are cooked over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half and those savory brown bits have been freed from the bottom of the pan, about three to five minutes. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to coax the bits loose as the sauce thickens. For extra flavor, chicken or vegetable stock may be used instead of water.

A teaspoon of sugar is added, along with a pinch of salt and pepper, and then two tablespoons of butter are stirred in as the sauce continues to reduce over medium-low heat for three to five minutes, until all of the ingredients are fully combined and the sauce has achieved a light, silky consistency. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting to keep the sauce warm while the pork cutlets bake in the oven for about three minutes, until the cheese melts and the prosciutto crisps up just a bit.

Transfer the finished cutlets to serving plates or a platter and top with fresh sage leaves followed by the lemon butter sauce. Serve with roasted or whipped potatoes, or linguini tossed in a little bit of garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

CLICK HERE for Scaloppine of Pork Saltimbocca RECIPE
CLICK HERE for Lemon Butter Sauce RECIPE

Today’s Featured Valentine Recipe: Red Curry Scallops

Since its debut at Sarello’s ten years ago, our Thai-inspired Red Curry Scallops appetizer has become one of our signature dishes. And with its aphrodisiac qualities, it’s the perfect dish to woo your loved one this Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!

For more information about this recipe, view our blog post from February 2013: Sarello’s Famous Red Curry Scallops

Sarello’s Red Curry Scallops Recipe

Makes:  4 to 6 appetizer servings

All ingredients for this recipe can usually be found in your local grocery store, but we know for a fact that they are available at the Hornbacher’s on 32nd Ave.

Red Curry Sauce:
1 small can or jar of red curry paste
16 oz. coconut milk
2 oz. fish sauce
2 oz. clam juice
1 oz. heavy cream
1 oz. lime juice
¼ cup sugar

Using a medium-sized sauce pan, combine all ingredients over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Add a half-cup of the roux (flour and butter mixture for thickening), and whisk until the roux is incorporated and the sauce has thickened. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

½ cup butter, shortening, lard or vegetable oil (the more flavorful the fat, the better the roux)
½ cup flour

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan and stir in the flour. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly until a light straw color is achieved. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

12-15 sea scallops
1 red onion, cut into half-inch thick slices
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, quartered (any mushroom will work)
1 cup carrots, julienne (sliced into thin strips)
1 cup sugar snap peas, whole
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chiffonade (cut into thin strips)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil

Using a large sauté pan over medium heat, pour in the vegetable oil and add the red onions. Cook for two minutes. Add the scallops, and cook for another two minutes. Add the red curry sauce and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Finish by adding the vegetables and basil, stirring to ensure all ingredients are hot, and cook for another two minutes. When done, the sauce should be velvety smooth; not as thick as a cream sauce, but thicker than a broth. Pour into serving bowls, serve and enjoy!

Tony’s Tip: To make sure that all the vegetables are crunchy, or al dente, add any vegetables that may take longer to cook, like carrots and onions, first. More delicate ingredients, like mushrooms and sugar snap peas, or shrimp (if using instead of scallops) should be added toward the end because they will cook faster.

Learn to Make Gnocchi with The Lost Italian!

$85 PER PERSON (plus tax)

Join Tony and Sarah for this HANDS-ON cooking class and learn how to make potato gnocchi from scratch. Come prepared to use your hands (and elbows, if necessary) and enjoy the relaxed environment of this small group setting, where you’ll work with a partner as Tony and Sarah guide you from start to finish through the art of making gnocchi. Once you’ve mastered the technique, you’ll cook your gnocchi and sit down with the class to enjoy your creation.

Bring only yourself and your enthusiasm – we will provide the necessary cooking equipment and materials. Class fee includes the use of all necessary equipment and materials, copies of all featured recipe(s) and hand-outs, and all food prepared during the class. Beer, wine and cocktails will be available for purchase.

Pre-registration is required as class size is very limited. To register, please call Sarello’s at 218.287.0238 or inquire by email to and write GNOCCHI CLASS in the subject field.

A credit card is required at the time of registration to confirm your space, but no charges will be applied until the date of the event, except in the event of a late cancellation. Gift certificates may not be used for payment for the Cooking Series. Cancellations must be made by Wednesday, February 18 or your credit card may be charged a fee of $25 per person if we are unable to fill your space. Should this occur, you will receive a gift certificate in the amount charged for future use at Sarello’s. 

Today’s Super Bowl Recipes: Italian Sausage & Peppers “Sangwich” with Pesto Pasta Salad

Today we’re sharing two of our favorite Italian party food recipes, Italian Sausage & Peppers Sangwich and Pesto Pasta Salad, both of which appear in our new party-food cookbook, Party on the Prairie.

(Copies can be purchased in person at Sarello’s,
or you can place an order by phone at (218) 287-0238
or via email to

The classic Italian Sausage & Peppers “Sangwich” (this is how Tony grew up saying “sandwich”) is the star of our Super Bowl feature today, and once you make it you’ll understand why this old standard has become a game day favorite for us.

This recipe is ideal for game day, and especially for tailgating because it’s simple to prepare, hearty, delicious, and most importantly, portable. And, you can eat it with your hands. What’s not to love?

The sausages can be cooked right on the grill, and you can sauté the peppers and onions on the side burner, or even prepare them in advance and warm them up just before serving.

Just before serving, we toss the sauteed peppers and onions in a light coating of warm tomato sauce over medium-high heat for about a minute. We’ve usually make our easy tomato sauce from scratch, but you can also use your favorite from a jar.

If this sandwich is going to meet Tony’s “sangwich” test, then it has to have great bread surrounding it. Great bread is easy to find in his hometown, Toronto, but our local selection is a *bit* more limited. In our area (ND/MN), we recommend using something good and crusty like a French baguette, Mexican bolillo rolls, or Italian ciabatta.

We love to serve these “sangwiches” with our Pesto Pasta Salad, which is easy to make yet big on flavor, and always a hit with our crowd. Even better, it can be made a day or so in advance, or just before serving.

For more great recipes, check out our features from earlier this week, and then head over to our Party Dips Page, featuring over 50 recipes from our 2013 Perfect Party Dip Contest.

Monday - Rough Cut Guac
Tuesday - Cincinnati-Style Chili
Wednesday – Hot Ham & Cheese Sliders
Thursday - Clipper Chipper Cookies
Friday - Sicilian Arancini Balls
Saturday – Italian Sauage & Peppers “Sangwich” and Pesto Pasta Salad

Other favorites:
Baked Ziti Casserole
Comforting Mac n’ Cheese
Gio’s Meatballs
Norwegian Meatballs
Walleye Cakes
Baja Fish Tacos
Blackened Sirloin with Horseradish Sauce
GooGoo’s Baked Ham
Horseradish Encrusted Beef Tenderloin Roast
Tomato Anchovy Bruschetta
Sun-Dried Tomato Crostini
Baked Brie in Puff Pastry
Tuscan Bean Salad
Corn Fritters
Caprese Orzo Salad
Easy Potato Salad
Honey Gorgonzola Hearts Salad
Apple Cheddar Bread Pudding
Buttermilk Brownies
Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake
Coconut Macaroons

We’ve been featuring our favorite Super Bowl recipes all week long, and we hope you’ll let us know if you find a new favorite (or two) to make this Sunday!