Vitello Tonnato - Veal with Tuna Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 2 lbs. veal or pork loin
  • 2 carrots, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 stalks of celery chopped into large pieces; also use the leaves
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic or more to taste coarsely chopped
  • A small bunch of parsley
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  1. Add to a 5 or 6 qt Dutch oven or stockpot, the veal, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, parsley and bay leaf. Add enough water to completely cover the veal and vegetables then remove the veal.
  2. Cover the Dutch oven or stockpot and bring the water to the boil. When the water starts to boil, add the veal back in, cover the Dutch oven or stockpot and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 1 hour; then check that the veal is cooked through having reached an internal temperature of about 140° F.
  3. Remove the Dutch oven or stockpot from the heat and allow the veal to cool in the stock. When cooled to room temperature, remove the meat from stock, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a day or two. Reserve ¼ cup of the stock.
  4. Make the tonnato sauce using the recipe below and store it in an airtight container along with the veal.
  5. To serve, slice the cold veal into very thin slices, about ⅛ to ¼ inch thick. I use a home deli slicer for consistently thin slices, but a very sharp knife will work. Smear the bottom of an individual serving dish with some tonnato sauce. Place a single layer of meat slices on top of the sauce only slightly overlapping the slices, abou 6 to 8 oz, and then cover with some more tonnato sauce. Garnish with whole capers or sliced green or black olives.
Recipe by Così Italiano at