Veal in Tuna Sauce Vitello tonnato authentic recipe


Veal in Tuna Sauce Vitello tonnato authentic recipe

Veal in Tuna Sauce (Vitello tonnato) is a classic of Italian cuisine, especially from the Piedmont region.

It is an ancient dish that is very easy to prepare and served as an appetizer or second course.

What makes this recipe special is above all the tenderness of the meat, the silverside, cooked in broth and then cut into very thin slices to be covered with a fresh and delicious tuna sauce.

But be careful not to overcook the veal for too long, making the meat too dark and stringy!

In addition to being a fresh dish, Veal in Tuna Sauce has the advantage of being prepared in advance and served at the right time. If you like cold dishes, try the pasta salad and the rice salad.

The aforementioned is the traditional recipe for both the cooking of the meat and the ingredients of the sauce.

In Italy there are many variations; the most common is the one that has the addition of Mayonnaise in the tuna sauce.

In the true recipe of Veal in Tuna Sauce the basic ingredients are certainly: tuna, anchovies and capers.

In this traditional recipe, combining meat and fish is a bit like saying lasagna and bechamel, a practically perfect combination with a timeless taste.

Among the Veal in Tuna Sauce recipes, this version is certainly the easiest and most practical, as everything is cooked in a pot.

Few steps and few ingredients, all essential for a Piedmontese recipe appreciated from north to south of Italy.

Veal in Tuna Sauce (Vitello tonnato)
Veal in Tuna Sauce (Vitello tonnato)

Recipe Difficulty Level: easy Servings: 6

Ingredients for Veal in Tuna Sauce:

  • 500 g (17.6 oz) of veal
  • carrot 1
  • stick of celery 1
  • onion 1
  • 2 or 3 bay leaves
  • Black Pepper
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 l (4 cups plus 3 tbsp) of water
  • ½ l (2 cups plus 1 tbsp) of white wine
  • Rosemary
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt

Ingredients for the cream:

  • 4 medium eggs
  • 150 g (5.2 oz) of canned tuna fish in olive oil
  • 10 g (0.3 oz) of capers in vinegar or salt
  • 6 anchovies
  • Salt
  • A little bit of stock

Ingredients for decoration:

  • Some capers


Clean the onion, the carrot, and the celery. Chop them.

In a pan, add the veal (better if tied with a rope for food), the chopped vegetables, 2 or 3 bay leaves, a clove of garlic, 5 cloves, rosemary, the white wine, thenwater, salt, and black pepper. Cook on medium heat without cover for 60 minutes from when it starts boiling. 

Cook for 60 minutes
Cook for 60 minutes

Remove the foam on the top with a spoon or a skimmer. After 30 minutes, turn the veal.

Once ready, drain the meat and keep the broth apart.

Wrap the veal in kitchen foil and let it cool down.

Once cold, put the veal in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

In the meantime, let’s prepare the tuna sauce!

Boil 4 eggs for 10 minutes from when it starts boiling and let them to cool down.

Once cold, peel them and cut in pieces.

Whip them in an electric blender with 150 g of canned tuna fish (with its oil), 10 capers (clean them with water before), and one ladle of the broth you have taken apart.

Continue to Whip until you obtain a cream (If necessary, add a little more broth). 

Whip until obtain a cream
Whip until obtain a cream

Take out from the fridge the veal.

Eliminate the rope and cut it into thin slices.

Lay them on a plate and spread the tuna cream on top of it. Decorate with some capers. 

Enjoy! Buon appetito!

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