Vitello tonnato

Vitello tonnato, Original recipe from Piedmont

Tuna veal in the original Piedmont recipe. A classic of the Piedmont culinary tradition that has become a great Italian classic. I like very much, because the meat is well cooked and the sauce tasty and flavorful. The only thing that I dislike is the appearance of this dish, where the meat is usually hidden by a uniform blanket of tuna sauce. For that I serve in individual dishes, roll up the slices and decorum with little sauce (so the servant apart and each can pour as much as you want), some’ thyme and quail eggs.

The recipe I present is the original Piedmont recipe and not the quick version of the tuna veal, where the meat is braised and the sauce is made with mayonnaise. The ancient recipe provides, In fact, meat after a long marinade is boiled with different aromas and that, to make the sauce, use tuna, Capers, hard-boiled egg yolks and veal cooking broth. The result is very different from what you know.

The sauce is delicate and light, not as fat as when you use mayonnaise. The kitchen thermometer is indispensable, to measure the correct calf temperature to the heart. Must remain pink. How pink, it's up to you to decide it. If you love to cook touches of meat, Perfect for Sunday lunches or dinners with friends, try l’ROAST PORK WITH PLUMS or to SICILIAN VEAL. v I wish you a good day.

TUNA CALF, Original recipe from Piedmont

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  • 1 kilo of veal
  • 400 grams of tuna in oil
  • 8 salted anchovies Cetara
  • 2 anchovy fillets in oil
  • 40 grams of capers of Salina
  • 750 ml dry white wine
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 Sage leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • a bay leaf
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • a few grains of black pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 boiled eggs, yolks only
  • white wine vinegar, to taste
  • a tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 6 hard-boiled quail eggs
  • extra virgin olive oil, to taste


The previous evening put the veal (tied with kitchen string) marinated with white wine, the carrots and celery cut into pieces, the Laurel, thyme, Sage, The cloves. Close the meat in an airtight container and leave it in the fridge to marinate over night, turning it over a few times.

The next day, put the meat in a large saucepan and add the marinade. Add anchovies Cetara, wash and boned,  a few grains of black pepper and cook covered for one hour and thirty minutes. Then remove the meat from the Pan and allow it to cool.

Filter the broth. Drain the tuna from the storage oil. Mix the tuna with the 4 egg yolks, anchovies in oil, Capers, diluting the sauce with extra virgin olive oil and lots of cooking meat broth as needed to reach the desired density. Adjust if necessary with salt and pepper, Add the white wine vinegar and lemon juice and whisk again until the sauce is smooth and without lumps.

Slice the meat finely (but not too much), arrange on individual plates or on a platter and garnish with the sauce, a sprig of thyme, some capers and boiled quail eggs and cut in half. Serve with the rest of the sauce on the side and Bon Appetit!

THE PAIRING: Is’ some’ difficult to match a red wine a veal with tuna sauce. The extreme delicacy of the meat,  combined with tuna sauce, and the lemon, could unpleasant contrasts. Is’ better then to focus on small bubbles or delicates. We chose a Sicilian wine, one of the latest Winery Donnafugata (in Marsala). The wine is called Prio (the word, in Sicilian dialect, denotes pleasure and happiness), is produced in the estate of Contessa Entellina (in western Sicily) with the native grape variety "Catarratto” and belongs to the Doc Sicilia. The grapes are pressed in a soft and then sharpen for a minimum of three months in bottle. Is’ a wine with aromas of white flowers, among which the elder, with a taste reminiscent of citrus fruit. With this recipe serve about 12 degrees.

Vitello tonnato



Vitello tonnato

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