Vitello Tonato – a cold Italian snack from the head of Fenix Italia Stefano Antoniolli: an authentic first-hand recipe
The tenderest beef in fish cream sauce that melts in your mouth is a delicacy that has been loved in Italy for over 150 years. The dish was born in the north, in Piedmont, which hides among the picturesque Alps. This area has always been famous for its excellent pastures, so there was always plenty of meat, not to mention fish; before it was brought from other regions, so tuna and anchovies were uncommon on the tables of Piedmont and were associated with the festival.
“Vitello tonato” (literally translated as “tuna beef”) – invented in peasant families. Since not everyone could afford seafood, it is best to prepare a sauce that perfectly nuances the taste of beef. Another nuance is also often talked about: in the period when salt was considered a valuable commodity, anchovies were used to salt dishes, along with which Italian traders smuggled “white gold”. Small salted fish could be stored for a long time and was much cheaper than salt. Therefore, people in the northern regions often used anchovies instead of seasoning. “Today I offer this dish to guests every day; at Fenix Italia we have holidays every day,” jokes Stefano.
“I grew up in northern Italy and I remember very well how my family cooked a juicy beef for the holidays with a cream sauce flavored with capers,” says Stefano. – Although now neither tuna nor anchovies are considered delicacies that are difficult to access, it is important to keep your balance: meat flavored with a few tablespoons of sauce should be generously placed on a plate. The most important thing is to choose a good stew and let it marinate enough, because this dish is also called “rested beef”. By the way, the vitello tonato can be made in advance and served directly before the arrival of the guests.
Tuna in its own juice – 100 g
mayonnaise – 70 g
Dry white wine – 15 ml
Anchovies – 5 years
Preparation. Beat all ingredients in a blender and refrigerate.
Marinated beef loin
Half beef – 1 kg
The mustard is sweet
Preparation. On the eve of cleaning the veal loin, marinate with salt, pepper and mustard. Leave in the fridge overnight. The next morning, fry in olive oil in a large skillet on both sides. Then bake for 20 minutes at 170 ° C. Remove from oven, let cool and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Inside, the meat should be slightly pink: it will be soft and juicy.
Marinated beef loin (see above)
Capers and anchovies to decorate
Quail eggs (2 units)
Cut the bread, which has had enough rest in the fridge, into slices as thin as possible. Cut the first layer of meat into thin slices, leaving an unfilled circle in the center. Grease the first layer with sauce, fill the space in the center with it. Arrange the next layer. Garnish with capers, quail eggs (boiled for two minutes) and anchovy fillets. Serve cold.