Chianti is an area located in the heart of central Italy’s Tuscany region, boasting stunning landscapes, great wines, olive oil and very good food linked to the country life style. Although there isn't any coastline in Chianti, the area offers an interesting food specialty: “Tonno del Chianti” or Chianti “Tuna”.
I met up with Chef Giorgio Trovato in Castelnuovo Berardenga, in the south of Chianti to cook and taste this unusual dish. Actually it looks like tuna but is an incredible soft pork meat cooked for many hours with white wine and vegetables and then stored in a jar covered with olive oil and laurel.
This is my reinterpretation of a local peasant recipe,” says Trovato. “In fact, Tonno del Chianti originated as a dish prepared in order to use all the meat of the pig and to store it for a long time. In the past it often happened that the sows gave birth in July but some little pigs were unable to overcome the torrid summer. So farmers used to butcher and cook these pigs in July according to this technique."
Tonno del Chianti is a useful and easy recipe to make at home. So, here are the ingredients and the preparation – note the one month wait time before eating! Please let me know how it goes.
- 500 g lean pork loin or tenderloin
- 325 ml dry white wine
- 430 ml water
- Laurel leaves
- Juniper berries
- Pink pepper berries
- Thyme and extra virgin olive oil
- Remove the fat from the pork meat and put it in a pot with the wine, water and all the vegetables
- Bring to a boil, remove the foam and cook the meat covered over low heat for three hours
- Let the meat cool in its broth to obtain the classic threads that much resemble those of tuna.
- Put the pork meat into a jar covered with olive oil and some, herbs, pepper, peppercorns and lime peel
Wait at least one month (the minimum time needed to mix all the flavors) and then serve with white beans and extra virgin olive oil. Giorgio served this fake Tuna with a delicious sauce made with wine and cinnamon.
He suggests to match this dish with a glass of chilled sparkling white wine or champagne.
About Giorgio Trovato
Giorgio is the Executive Chef of "Il Convito di Curina" restaurant in Castelnuovo Berardenga, which is part of Villa Curina Resort. Calabrian born, he came to Tuscany to study and today he is also a Food Stylist and chef Consultant around the world.
Trovato is very attentive to the history and local tradition: his cuisine starts with deep research on local culture and always uses the best local produce. He loves to talk with his clients about the dishes he creates and I must confess that he bewitched me with all his words and great food. Grazie Giorgio!