Posted by: Debra Kolkka | January 20, 2012

Jayne’s saltimbocca

I have written about Ristorante Del Sonno in Bagni di Lucca before. It is one of our favourite places to eat, because of the delicious food and the company of Jayne and Ilario who own the restaurant.

The lovely Jayne kindly shared her recipe for saltimbocca with me and allowed me into her kitchen to watch her cook it. This Roman speciality is better here than at any restaurant I have been to in Rome.


The ingredients – thinly sliced veal, prosciutto and sage leaves. There is also stock which is waiting for the right moment to join the others.


Melt butter in a frying pan.


Fry the veal slices, which have been lightly coated in flour.


Turn the veal slices to cook both sides.


Put the prosciutto slices on top of the veal.


Next put the sage leaves on top.


Ladle enough stock into the pan to make a sauce for the saltimbocca.


Then serve it up. I usually have mine with grilled vegetables.


Jayne and Ilario have owned Del Sonno for about 10 years. Ilario grew up in Bagni di Lucca, but moved away to work. Jayne is English and came to Italy in 1982. Both come from a catering background but had taken time out to do other things.

Del Sonno has been established for around 150 years and Ilario and Jayne were delighted to find it for sale. I have since been contacted by a member of the original family who owned the restaurant. I will be keen to meet with her when I get back to Italy.

Jayne and Ilario have recently moved to the village of Gombereto. I was invited to lunch one day to their beautiful house and was given a guided tour of the village by Ilario.



Views from the village.


The town square.


Many of the houses are clustered together and joined by tunnels.


A lovely old doorway.


On one of the houses.


Say hello to Ilario and Jayne when you go to Del Sonno, and don’t forget to try the saltimbocca. Their wood fired pizzas are also excellent, making decisions very difficult.


Click here to see the earlier post on Del Sonno.


  1. The food looks so delicious and simple. I will try it one day, but I wish there was a view to match the ones from the village. Suburban Brisbane just does not cut it.

    • Saltimbocca is wonderful! Brisbane is a great city, but those mountain views are something else.

  2. It’s great…….my mouth is watering & can’t wait to get back in April to have it again.

  3. Saltimbocca…. or a “jump in the mouth” is one of my favourite Italian dishes; however, I must confess that I have not tasted, as yet, the del Sonno’s version… which is, obviously, a very classic one. Generally, it is a dish that we love to have whenever we go to Rome and we have had some very good versions of it. I particularly love the rolled saltimbocca and the addition of capers, very thin lemon slices and Marsala wine. Grilled vegetables is the perfect garnish.
    Actually, “saltimbocca” versions appear in recipes from Spain, Greece and even the Ticino in Switzerland. There are some interesting variations using, thin slices of chicken or pork instead of veal and cooking them in the traditional way. There is a chicken saltimbocca which is delicious cooked with extra lemon juice and white wine (instead of Marsala). We can always substitute white wine for Marsala if we do not have it, but we should use a sweet variety instead of a dry one…. or add a hint of sugar to the sauce.
    I will certainly go to del Sonno to taste Jayne’s recipe.

    • I hope you try it next time you are in Bagni di Lucca.

  4. What a wonderful post Debra, thank you, I hope we really deserv it

  5. By the way…today it is exactly 10 years that we own the restaurant

    • Congratulations!!! That is wonderful. I’m glad I did the post today. Have a great day. See you soon.

  6. What a beautiful post again, dear Debra! I loved all these photographs… They seem so beautiful, so delicious and so artistic too… I love these kind of tunnels/streets in the old towns… This is amazing, how I loved it, especially the umbrellas! I wished to see them more, they stand really so nicely in this tunnel road… Thank you dear Debra, your photographs are always calling us to Italy 🙂 Have a nice weekend, with my love, nia

    • Thank you Nia. We love this restaurant and Ilario an Jayne are delightful.

  7. Will I fit all the wonderful restaurants and sight seeing in 5 days ???
    May have to come back.

    • You may need a couple of trips.

  8. That’s looks so beautiful but so simple and achievable! 😀

    • It is delicious, and not too difficult to make.

  9. […] original post here: Jayne's saltimbocca « Bagni di Lucca and Beyond This entry was posted in Lucca and tagged bagni, delicious, favourite, ilario, jayne, […]

  10. Gosh, Deb, the food looks AMAZING! Now I’m hungry–yet again!

    • It makes me hungry looking at it.

  11. I will have to try this the next time we go there! So much for my vegetarian regime… 🙂

    • Have one for me Christian.

  12. Auguri Ilario e Jayne! Ten years ago my husband and I actually “considered” buying Del Sonno…but then we remembered that 1) we had no restaurant experience and 2) we live in the USA. One can dream! It turned out for the best as Ilario and Jayne have done a wonderful job of making this a “hot spot” in the Bagni di Lucca area. No one goes to Bagni without at least having lunch or dinner. Don’t forget the fabulous caffe next door if you’re in the Villa section of Bagni. They too are great people.

    • Ilario and Jayne are doing s great job at the restaurant. We are lucky to have them.

  13. Any restaurant recommendations for vegetarians?

    • Del Sonno does some excellent vegetarian dishes. The porcini mushroom and truffle dishes spring to mind. Most restaurants in the area do great things with the local produce. There is excellent fennel, cavolo nero, chick peas and lots of great things to choose from, just ask.

  14. Oh yum! That saltimbocca looks divine!

    • I can assure you that it is. I would like it now.

  15. The saltimbocca looks truly good, I am now feeling hungry and there are still some hours to go before dinner…

    • I will be back in Bagni di Lucca soon and this will be one of my first stops

  16. My mouth is watering! We’ll be having this for dinner very soon. Thanks Debra!

    • As you can see, it is quite easy to do. The secret is in using the best ingredients.

  17. Amazing Italy, i miss it. Lucca was so beautiful. We never Saltimbocca, but im pretty sure its yummi.

    • You could make it at home.

  18. Bravo! Really enjoying your posts. Have had a look back trough (catching up) and the seafood pics are great. Thanks again for making me hungry!

    On next trip (2013) I definitely want to get to Lucca, Bagni di Lucca and many of the other towns you post about in the region (Gombereto, etc).

    Keep on posting…

    • I am going to try to get to as many of the mountain villages on this trip as I can. Each one is different from the others. I am looking forward to photographing them.

  19. I’ve never eaten that dish… clearly an over sight.
    Gorgeous houses, and joined by tunnels? Now THAT would be just a bit exciting.

    • I’m sure you could make it easily. You won’t be disappointed.

  20. Thanks for posting the recipe! We love to eat and love love to cook, and look forward to putting saltimbocca on this week’s menu!. The village looks so delightful. I wish we would have had the chance to go to Del Sonno when we were in Bagni di Lucca. Next time!

    • Del Sonno is great. You must go there next time.

  21. this entry brings to mind my quandary as to were to get my Florentine steak when Michelangelo the butcher in Bagni retires.

    • One of the butchers in La Villa has already gone I think. We used to have one at Ponte a Serraglio, but she has been gone for a few years now.

  22. I enjoy cooking (and eating) italian food but I have never made this dish before. Thank you for the inspiration , I cooked it last night including the
    grilled vegetables ( the eggplant is the best) . It was great ,my wife and my son loved it .
    I can’t wait to have the real thing at Del Sonno when we come in October.
    Thank you for all the posts and great photos , it has helped us a great deal in planning our holyday.

    • Sorry Debra , I didn’t meant to be anonymous .
      My name is Elsear do Canto.

      • Hi Elsear, Are you going to Bagni di Lucca this year?

    • I’m glad you enjoyed your saltimbocca

  23. Lovely story Deb. Jayne and Ilario look a great couple

    • They are! I had a great day in their village.

  24. A wood fired pizza would be great!

    • The pizzas are very good at Del Sonno.

  25. […] allowed me into the kitchen last year and showed me how she makes her saltimbocca. If you click here you will find the […]

  26. […] and apple sfoglia every morning, just a short walk across the bridge at Il Monaco, saltimbocca at Del Sonno and everything at Paris Boheme in […]

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