Local products05 December 2014

Recipe of the week: vitello tonnato

Served cold, vitello tonnato is often consumed in summertime or as a tasteful antipasto

Recipe of the week: vitello tonnato

The old saying claiming that meat and fish can’t go together isn’t completely right, after all. Vitello tonnato is the proof that meat and fish not only can be enjoyed together, but that the dish coming out of their matching can result deliciously successful.

Vitello tonnato is a typical antipasto of Piedmont: it is composed of sliced veal covered with a creamy tuna sauce. Served cold, it is consumed in summertime or as appetiser in any occasion. 

Claiming the authorship of the dish are mainly the cities of the “Provincia Granda”, Cuneo and Alba. The origins of this recipe are not clear, but allegedly its first appearance dates back to the 18th century. 

Vitello tonnato is also very appreciated in Argentina, where it is known as vitel toné and considered a traditional Christmas dish. 

In the original recipe, the sauce is made with boiled eggs, while today many simply use mayonnaise. But the main ingredients are always tuna, anchovies and capers. 

The recipe we suggest is the original one, made using boiled eggs. 

Ingredients (serving 6-8 people)

1 kg veal, silverside

300 g canned tuna

6 salted anchovies

30 g capers

3 eggs

1 bottle dry white wine

2 bay leaves

about 200 cl olive oil

1 tbsp white vinegar


3 cloves



lemon juice


Marinate the veal in white wine. Add the bay leaves, the cloves, the sage and the celery, finely chopped. Let the meat rest in the wine for at least 24 hours, turning it two or three times. 

Put the veal in a saucepan and sift in the wine where it was resting. Add salt and boil for about an hour.

Add the anchovies. Cook for 30 more minutes, until the broth is reduced of at least a litre.

To do the sauce, firstly boil the eggs and sift the broth. 

Squeeze the anchovies, the tuna and the boiled eggs yolk through the sieve. Add the capers, finely chopped, the vinegar, lemon juice and oil. Stir carefully and lightly water down the sauce with part of the broth. 

When the veal is cold, slice it thinly and serve it covered with the sauce. 

Giulia Luzi

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