Tonno al Forno

Baked Tuna

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 6


Appears in

Alastair Little's Italian Kitchen

Alastair Little's Italian Kitchen

By Alastair Little

Published 1996

  • About

For this dish you need boneless tuna loin, not a steak, which must be very fresh and showing a good rosy to red colour, not a deep meat colour with a metallic sheen. The leftovers are very good for Tacchino Tonnato or Tonno e Fagioli.


  • 1.25 kg loin of tuna, from back or belly
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 1 sprig fresh mint
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • good olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 250 g tinned tomato pieces
  • 1 red onion, peeled and sliced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 400 ml dry white wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 chicken stock cube (optional)


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.

Skin the tuna and cut away the dark bloody bits. Rinse and dry. Chop the anchovy, mint and garlic finely, then mix them together. With the point of a knife make incisions in the tuna 6 cm apart and 3 cm deep; fill these incisions with the chopped mix.

Rub olive oil, salt and pepper over the tuna, and put in a roasting dish that is just big enough to hold it with the tinned tomato pieces and their juice. Scatter the red onion over and about it, and put in the oven with possibly a little more oil on top. Brown in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn and add the lemon juice and 200 ml of the wine. Brown for a further 10 minutes in the oven, then baste and lower the heat to 140°C/275°F/Gas 1. Cook for 30 minutes longer, basting occasionally. When the cooking time has elapsed, remove the tuna carefully from the roasting dish and transfer to a serving dish.

Add 200 ml water, the rosemary and the remaining wine to the by now abundant juices. Reduce these over a high heat with the onions until there is just enough liquid to coat the onions. Add the stock cube if you wish. (The Italians call stock cubes dado for some reason.)

Serve the tuna warm with roast cubed potatoes. Spoon the onions and juice over.