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vitello tonnato 

tuna spread / dip 

for the tonnato

5 oz (160 g) good quality canned tuna 

1-2 anchovy filets

1 hard boiled egg or just the yolk 

4 oz (125 g) plain yogurt

4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil 

3 heaping Tbs (60 g) salt-preserved capers, well rinsed

orange zest if you like

for the beef

2.2 lb (1 kg) veal or beef, from thigh or rump, one boneless piece like a pot roast, tressed so it is round

odori / odors (aromatics): carrots, celery, onion, parsley, bay leaf

2 Tablespoons vinegar

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To make the tonnato sauce: in a food processor fitted with the steel blade process the tuna, anchovies, egg and capers until finely chopped, add olive oil in a stream to form a thick, smooth paste. Add the yogurt and pulse a few times to mix being careful not to over-mix so the yogurt doesn’t separate. Add salt to taste and a bit of orange zest. 

Spread on thin slices of room temperature, boiled beef (below) and top with a few capers to make vitello tonnato or use the tonnato sauce as a dip or spread for anything. 


To make the beef: in a stock pot boil the meat with the odori in water with salt and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Boil for 1 - 1 1/2 hours until the meat is cooked through. Turn off the heat and let the meat rest in the broth, keep the meat immersed in its broth in the refrigerator to keep it moist. When you are ready to serve it slice it thinly and serve cool or room temperature smothered with the tonnato sauce and topped with a few capers.

this is a non-traditional version of a Piemontese recipe given to me by a Maltese chef 

the sauce is also good served with hardboiled eggs or as a spread on crackers or as dip with raw vegetables 

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