One of the most regional dishes you can find in Italy, and specifically in the Piedmont region, is the “vitello tonnato” or veal with tuna and caper sauce, in english. It’s a traditional recipe you can serve as an appetizer or also as a main and, exactly like every traditional Italian recipe, every family has its own.
It can take quite a long time but you can prepare your veal a few hours ahead and serve when cold: I can assure you it’s even better after he has rested a few hours
Simplicity, regional relevance and seasonality: this dish has everything and it’s always a winning one when it comes to dinner parties.
What you need for 6 portions of vitello tonnato
1 Kg of lean veal
300 grams of tuna in oil
30 grams of capers
Good dry white wine
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
5 sage leaves
The juice of 1 lemon
How to make the vitello tonnato
1. Marinate the veal in white wine with laurel, sage, a pinch of salt and celery and leave it for about 12 hours so that it softens and takes a particular taste;
2. After 12 hours, remove the herbs and place the veal in a pan with the remaining white wine and pour cold water to cover the meat. Cook for about 1 hour with lid and without turning;
3. Add the anchovies and cook for about 30 minutes or until the broth will reduce in half;
4.In the meantime, prepare the hard-boiled eggs and, once the veal is fully cooked, remove it from the pot and put it to cool;
5. Remove the anchovies from the broth and blend them with tuna, egg yolks, capers, white vinegar, lemon juice and half a cup of olive oil. If the sauce becomes too dry add a little more broth always whisking;
6. Thinly slice the veal until it is completely cool and cover with the sauce; a few minutes before serving garnish the veal with a few capers and fresh parsley.
Preparation time: about 16 hours
[Pic by Giuseppe]