Vitello tonnato is one of my favorite easy appetizer recipes to bring leftovers back to the living! It is originally made with cold veal roast (vitello means veal in Italian) but I also use leftover roast pork from time to time. Try to slice the meat as thin as you possibly can. It really makes a huge difference in flavor, texture and look.
Vitello Tonnato (Italian Veal & Tuna Carpaccio)
I’m also very fond of the canned tuna and mayo sauce (that’s where the tonnato stands for in Italian). What a great Italian recipe! Give me a slice of crunchy bread and I’ll mop it all up in a second. No need to do the dishes afterwards!
This vitello tonnato is a great idea for a quick starter because there’s no cooking involved here at all. Just toss all the ingredients for the tuna sauce in a blender and season it to taste.
Have you tasted that tuna sauce before actually? You might think that fish and meat don’t go together, but here it works really well! That tuna sauce is so velvety. And because the tuna isn’t that very strong in flavor, the sauce is a great match for the subtle and delicate veal meat.
However, don’t assemble the dish hours in advance. Because the tuna sauce tends to turn yellow after a while and dries out around the edges. It will look hideous. You can also arrange the thin slices of veal or pork roast onto little plates and then put a bowl of the freshly made tuna sauce on the table so everyone can serve themselves.
And don’t forget the capers!
- 1 lb cooked veal roast (450 g), or pork roast
- 7 oz canned tuna (200 g), drained weight
- 3 oz mayonnaise (85 g)
- 3 tbsp capers in brine
- 2 canned anchovy fillets in oil or 1 tsp anchovy paste
Open the can of tuna and carefully pour the liquid in a glass or cup. Keep it aside for now until we need it later on in this recipe.
Then flake the tuna with a fork and transfer it to a blender.
Blend the tuna and then also add the mayonnaise.
- Pulse again into a creamy mixture. Then add the salted capers and the anchovy fillets (or the anchovy paste).
- Blend the tuna well. Now little by little pour in the drained liquid you kept aside and blend in between additions until you end up with the consistency you like. Some like a thick sauce, but then other like a more runnier sauce.
- Then season the tuna sauce with a little pepper and salt.
- Blend the sauce well. Check the seasoning and add extra pepper or salt to taste if necessary.
- Chill the tuna sauce in the fridge for 10 minutes. In the meantime slice the veal or pork roast up thinly and divide this over cold plates. Cover entirely with the chilled tuna sauce. Garnish with extra salted capers and fresh parsley. Serve cold.