Tonno alla Calabrese

Calabrian Tuna Steaks


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This recipe typifies Calabrian cuisine and brings together many of the ingredients that are most closely identified with the region. The flavours work very well, making the most of the taste of fresh tuna and creating a satisfying dish, with just enough chilli to add a hint of fire.


  • 4 even-sized fresh tuna steaks, total weight about 800 g/ lb
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp olive oil
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp dry white wine
  • 50 g/2 oz pancetta, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and boned
  • 400 g/14 oz can chopped tomatoes, drained
  • ½ dried red chilli, chopped
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Pat dry the tuna steaks using kitchen paper. Season the steaks thoroughly on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan that is large enough to hold the tuna steaks in a single layer. Coat the tuna steaks lightly in flour, add them to the pan of hot oil and fry them over a medium heat for 3 minutes on each side.

  3. Sprinkle with the wine and allow the alcohol to boil off for 1 minute.
  4. Using a spatula, lift out the fish and drain on kitchen paper. Place on a plate and spoon over the pan juices.
  5. Heat the remaining olive oil in the pan.
  6. Add the pancetta, garlic, onion and half the parsley. Fry gently for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the anchovy fillets and mash them into the hot mixture with a fork. After 1 minute, stir in the tomatoes. Add the chilli and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

  7. Slide the tuna steaks back into the pan and spoon some of the tomato mixture over them. Heat through thoroughly for about 8 minutes, turning them over gently once.
  8. Serve immediately topped with the sauce and sprinkled with the remaining parsley.