Recipes and Ramblings in Italy

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Recipe of the Week (December 10, 2014)

Posted by William Abruzzo on December 10, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Vitello con Salsa di Tonnata  (Sauteed Veal Cutlets with Tuna Sauce)        

        This week's recipe takes us to the region of LOMBARDIA. Veal with tuna sauce is a favorite at trendy restaurants in Milan and Turin. It is typically made with slow-boiled veal rump, which is allowed to cool and then sliced paper thin. The veal is then topped with a tuna sauce and served room temperature or lightly chilled. It is the perfect dish to serve at a luncheon or as an appetizer before a fancy meal. Here is my version of this classic northern Italian dish that is sure to make any proud Milanese chef cringe. I like to make it quick and serve it hot! Instead of veal rump, which takes well over an hour to boil, I use veal cutlets that I pound as thin as possible and fry on the stove top. Just one minute on each side and they are done! When it comes to the sauce, I add plenty of butter and warm it on the stove top while the cutlets are frying. Then, I spoon the sauce over the veal cutlets just as they come out of the frying pan and serve it hot.




Veal Cutlets (6 large or 8 medium)

Flour (for dusting)

Italian Jarred Tuna or Canned White Albacore in Oil (12 ounces)

Olive oil (¼ cup)

Butter (6 tbs)

Capers (1/3 cup)

Anchovy Paste (1 rounded tsp)

Lemons (2 large)

Italian Flat Leaf Parsley (2 tbs -chopped, packed firm)

Garlic (2 cloves)

Black Pepper (to taste)

Salt (to taste)



        Place the tuna, olive oil, capers, anchovy paste, garlic and parsley in a food processor and puree until smooth. Extract the juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup). Melt the butter in a sauce pan and then add the tuna puree and lemon juice. Season the sauce with black pepper and salt and whisk until smooth and creamy. Allow the sauce to simmer on a very low burner for 5 minutes. If you prefer more lemony flavor, add some or all of the juice of the remaining lemon.


        Meanwhile, pound the cutlets to ¼ inch thickness or less, season them with salt and black pepper, and dust them lightly with flour. Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with olive oil and set it on a medium burner. When the oil has heated, fry the cutlets for 1 minute on each side and then place them on paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Arrange the cutlets on a serving platter and spoon the tuna sauce over top. Serve hot. Serves 6 to 8 adults.

Categories: Appetizers, Snacks, Soups, and Salads

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Reply Sally
12:19 PM on January 30, 2015 
The tuna sauce was awesome. I had tonnato when I was in Italy, and I really think it is better served warm. I also think the original recipes does in fact include cream, which I do not believe is necessary.
Reply Bill Abruzzo
8:18 PM on January 5, 2015 
Mariabella, Yes this is a really delicious preparation for veal. The combination is rather unexpected. The original recipe is from Milan, and it is typically served cold/room temperature as an appetizer or for lunch. I actually like it better served hot!
Reply mariabella
1:06 AM on January 2, 2015 
I didn't know if I would like this or not, so I thought I would give it a try. WOW, this was really good. The sauce complimented the veal beautifully. The best part was that it was an easy recipe to make, but it looked and taste as if I spent a lot of time making it. A big hit in my family. Thanks Bill. . . . . .

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This is an old trick I learned years ago from my mother. The next time you bake a pie, roll out the dough between sheets of plastic wrap. This will prevent the dough from sticking to your rolling pin and will make it easier to transport the dough from your work surface to the pie dish or baking sheet.

Cover your entire work surface with plastic wrap and sprinkle it lightly with flour. Turn the dough onto the wrap, pat it down to 1 inch thickness, sprinkle it lightly with flour, and then cover it with a second layer of wrap. Roll out the dough to just less than ¼ inch thickness and remove the top layer of wrap. Lift the dough using the bottom layer of wrap, turn it on to a lightly greased pie dish or baking sheet, and then remove the wrap. Its quick and easy! 

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 Frying Tomato Paste Enhances the Flavor and Adds Depth to Your Dish

Many recipes direct you to stir tomato paste into a sauce, soup or stew. However, frying the tomato paste first fully develops its flavor and eliminates any raw or metallic taste. It is a quick and easy way to enhance the flavor of your dish. Tomato paste should always be added at the beginning of a recipe, rather than at the end. This allows its flavor to marry with the dish. Add it immediately after sautéing your aromatics in olive oil or rendered fat. When the aromatics are soft, push them to one side of your pot or frying pan. Place a dollop of tomato paste on the other side, tilt the pot or frying pan to pool the oil around the tomato paste, and let it gently sizzle for about 2 minutes.  After the tomato paste has fried, incorporate it into the aromatics and then add the liquid and other ingredients to complete your sauce, soup or stew. 

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