Involtini di Tonno

Involtini di Tonno (Tomaxelle di Tonno - stuffed tuna rolls)

Tuna is a great pescatarian alternative in red meat dishes, especially ones like a classic Italian involtini where it’s wrapped around a tasty filling and poached in a rich tomato sauce. Traditional veal involtini often includes meat in the filling, but cheese, herbs and umami-rich porcini make for a delicious vegetarian stuffing for this involtini di tonno. Add some focaccia to mop up all that delicious sauce if you like (see video below) and pour a glass of a rich, soft nebbiolo d’Alba like Nebbiolina from Sordo Wines.

Serves 2

  • 15g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons oregano leaves
  • 300g tuna steak
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ small brown onion
  • Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1½ tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 slice rustic bread, crusts removed, finely diced
  • 1 egg
  • 25g freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 15g pine nuts, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 210g crushed canned Italian tomatoes (polpa)
  • Crusty bread, for serving
  1. Soak porcini in warm water for about 15 minutes.
  2. Reserve a few small oregano leaves for garnish, chop the rest and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the fish horizontally into 2 thin pieces then pound gently with a meat mallet to flatten each piece thinly.
  4. Cut each piece in half.
  5. Heat half the oil in a small heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat.
  6. Add onion and a good pinch of salt, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender but not coloured.
  7. Squeeze the porcini dry and chop finely.
  8. Stir porcini into the onion, increase heat to medium-high and cook for 4-5 minutes, until onion starts to brown.
  9. Increase heat to high, add wine and stir well to remove any bits stuck to the base of the pan. Cook for a few minutes, until most of the wine evaporates.
  10. Place bread, egg, parmesan, pine nuts, parsley, chopped oregano, nutmeg, salt and pepper in the bowl of a small food processor.
  11. Add the onion mixture and set the frying pan aside to reuse (don’t wash it).
  12. Blitz to form a coarse paste.
  13. Place tuna pieces on a workbench with the cut side facing away from you.
  14. Divide the mixture between them.
  15. Spread it evenly over the entire surface, except for a 1cm margin at the top.
  16. Roll up to enclose the filling, place on a plate, seam side down and refrigerate for a few minutes.
  17. Place remaining oil and garlic in the reserved frying pan over a low heat and cook for a minute or so, until aromatic.
  18. Increase heat to high, add tomato, a tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt and stir to combine well and incorporate any bits stuck to the base of the pan.
  19. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  20. Add tuna rolls seam side down, baste with the sauce, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, basting occasionally, until tuna is just cooked through.
  21. Arrange rolls on a platter, spoon sauce over the top and around.
  22. Sprinkle involtini di tonno with reserved oregano leaves and serve with crusty bread.

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