Vitello tonnato: a timeless recipe

A great classic of Piedmontese cuisine

Many people attribute the origin of the vitello tonnato, often called vitel tonné, to France. Instead, it is a very Italian recipe, a traditional dish of the Piedmontese gastronomic culture that is now part of summer menus all over the country.

Vitello tonnato (veal with tuna sauce)

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Course Second dish
Servings 10 portions



  • 1 shoulder or quadrant of veal (approx. 1.5 kg)
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 slices onion
  • 1 ½ glasses white wine
  • q.b. balanced salt for white meat

Tuna sauce

  • 8 eggs
  • 300 g tuna in oil
  • 2 tablespoons desalted capers
  • 10 anchovy fillets in oil
  • q.b. to tastesalt and pepper


Meat preparation

  • Start theblast chiller with the pre-heating cycle at 70°C with active humidity.
  • Salt the veal shoulder with the balanced salt.
  • Deglaze with white wine, allowing the alcoholic part to evaporate.
  • Place the meat, the blended wine and the vegetables in a vacuum-packed cooking bag and condition.
  • Place thevacuum-packed bag in the blast chiller and start the timed cooking cycle withthe following parameters
    – duration:6 hours
    – celltemperature: 68°C
    -ventilation: 100%
    – humidity:lvl 5
    Set blastchiller to +3°C at the end of cooking and store in the refrigerator for up to21 days.

Tuna sauce

  • Boil the eggs and cut them into slices in a high-sided container.
  • Add the drained tuna, anchovy and capers, and whisk until the desired consistency is reached.


Balanced salt for white meat consists of 150g salt and 75g sugar. Use 12g per kg of meat.
Keyword Meat

How to serve vitello tonnato?

Once the veal and the sauce have been prepared, all that remains is to plate it. The meat must be thinly sliced and arranged on the plate without too much overlapping; the sauce is then added, garnished with a few desalted capers and freshly ground pepper.

The dish thus proposed is already complete, but can also be served with other ingredients to become more complex.

As an appetiser, it lends itself well to pairing with carpione or sweet-and-sour vegetables, whose acidic touch creates a pleasant contrast. For a more nutritious dish, on the other hand, potato salad is ideal, a delicate side dish that will not overpower the flavour of the veal.

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