Saltimbocca is a classic Italian dish made of chicken or veal cutlets flavored with sage, prosciutto, and sometimes, cheese. It’s delicious and rather simple, but the preparation takes time and some nights you just don’t want to bother assembling and sauteeing a bunch of individual servings. So after over-buying some center-cut pork loin last week, I thought why not take all those amazing flavors, transfer it to a roast, and let the oven do the hard work. A quick cheese sauce takes the place of sliced cheese and since we already had a hot pan, oven, and oil, thought why not toss in some potatoes and create a side reminiscent of another classic Italian dish, Vesuvian potatoes. This Pork Loin Saltimbocca is healthy, delicious, and perfect for a weeknight with family or company on the weekend.
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2.5 – 3 pounds center cut pork loin
15 – 20 whole fresh sage leaves
4 ounces pre-sliced prosciutto
5-6 red potatoes, diced (about 5 cups, but use as many or few as you’d like)
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
For the cheese sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup milk (I prefer 2%)
1 cup grated fontina cheese (if unavailable, try half monterey jack and half parmesan…but really, any combo of Italian cheese would be delish).
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease the bottom of an ovenproof pan or dish with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper all sides of the pork loin and place in the center of the baking pan/dish. (I wouldn’t use more than 1/2 teaspoon of salt here, as the prosciutto can be quite salty).
- Evenly distribute the sage leaves across the top of the pork loin, allowing them to drape down the sides. Next drape the thinly sliced prosciutto across the top and down the sides. You will overlap the slices, like roof shingles, and it’s okay if it is doubled-up in some areas. When finished, tucked the overage underneath the pork. (See photos below)
- Bake for about one hour or until a meat thermometer registers around 145 degrees in the center of the pork loin. Remove the meat to a plate or carving board, cover with aluminum foil, and let rest.
- Meanwhile, increase the oven temperature to 425 degree. Toss the diced potatoes with the drippings in the bottom of the pan, along with the dried rosemary. Use the extra tablespoon of olive oil if the potatoes seem too dry. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are tender. Salt and pepper to taste.
- While the potatoes cook, you will make the cheese sauce by first melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for a minute or two. Slowly add the milk while continuing to whisk to avoid lumps. Then slowly add in the shredded cheese and dijon. Continue cooking to allow the sauce to thicken. If the sauce gets too thick, lower the heat and add a splash of milk. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the meat has rested at least 15 minutes and the potatoes and cheese sauce are ready, the pork loin is ready to carve. Cut portions as thin or thick as you like, then serve the slices with a hearty spoonful of cheese sauce on top and a scoop of potatoes along side, then nosh!
Serves 4-8 (rule of thumb is to plan on 1/3-1/2 a pound per person)