Vitello tonnato (veal with tuna sauce) is one of those recipes that we tend to take for granted, and it is a shame because it is one of the most sumptuous Italian dishes. But let’s get to the point: we don’t want to waste time talking.
What is Vitello Tonnato?
It is an appetizer made of boiled veal, which is sliced and covered with a savory tuna sauce. Very simple, nothing transcendental, it is the dish that dominates the menus of every self-respecting Piedmontese restaurant.
But when it comes down to making the tuna sauce, then an endless debate opens or better explodes! If you are in a hurry put four spoons of mayonnaise, a can of tuna, two capers and then blend everything.
Some people use only tuna, capers and lemon and no mayonnaise, making a tuna foam, but the most successful recipe of all is the one we offer you today. Directly from the Santisè restaurant of Calliano, a temple of Piedmontese cuisine, nestled in the hills of Asti.
If you want to make the perfect Vitello Tonnato, try this recipe from the great Italian chef Marco Scanavino and send us some of your delicious pics!
Ingredients for making the perfect Vitello Tonnato
- 1 kg of veal, veal loin or leg are the best cuts
- 15 grams of coarse salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery stick
- 5-6 cloves
- 400 grams of tuna in oil
- 1 lemon
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons of pickled capers
- 1 well-washed anchovy
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 glass of extra virgin olive oil
- capers or Giardiniera to decorate
How to prepare the Vitello Tonnato recipe
Fill a pot with water, then put inside the carrot, celery, and onion and bring it to a boil. Add salt and when it boils put in the piece of meat, the bay leaf, and the cloves.
Cook the meat for 1 hour, then take it out, dry it and let it cool.
When it has cooled, cut it into thin slices, cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator.
Let’s move on to the tuna sauce.
Put the yolks in a bowl and whip them with a whisk, add the lemon juice little by little and then the oil, until you get a thick sauce.
Put the tuna, the well-squeezed capers and 1 anchovy in the vegetable mill and blend, then incorporate them in the mayonnaise and add a splash of EVOO.
If you want to add a couple of boiled egg yolks, you can do it.
When the sauce is frothy, pour it over the veal and then decorate the dish with some capers.
For a spectacular dish, decorate with a dried cherry tomato petal or a good giardiniera.
As a variant, try the Vitello Tonnato with capers, tomatoes, olives and pesto, but with the meat roasted like roast beef. More intense in flavor and saltiness, but very valid as an appetizer.
Which wine to pair with Vitello Tonnato?
If you want to pair a cocktail, Moscow Mule is the right drink.