Jun 29, 2010

Tonno ubriaco recipe

Tonno ubriaco means drunken tuna: a basic recipe originating in the seaport city of Livorno. It takes 10 minutes to make and can save the day in case of unexpected (and famished) dinner guests.

4 large fresh tuna steaks
3/4 cup of red wine
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 sprig of Italian flatleaf parsley, finely chopped – I use fresh basil because I can't eat parsley
1 cup unbleached flour
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the garlic in olive oil over medium heat and remove it from the frying pan before it browns. Add chopped onion and parsley/basil to the pan. 

Dredge the tuna steaks with flour and cook along with the onion for 5 minutes. Add the wine, crank up the heat and allow it to evaporate.

Serve the steaks with the resulting fondo, fresh garden greens and golden fried potatoes.

The wine? Pairs well with either white or red, as long as dry and somewhat chilled.

{the tonnara at Scopello, Sicily}


  1. its only 6 AM but i could totally go for some of that...mmm...

  2. tuna, the delicious fish! it's good raw as sushi, it's good grilled, it's good in a can!

  3. A lovely, simple recipe.I love tuna, especially Italian tuna. We get it in cans here in America. I can only imagine how wonderful it tastes fresh from the sea!

  4. It sounds wonderful, if it last long enough to get it into the pan...I love it raw so much, it often gets eaten as sashimi instead.

  5. Not your average tuna sandwich! This does sound good,and there are often tuna steaks for sale at the fish counter in town so I'm sure we'll give the recipe a try. I told my husband about it and he said it sounds just like the recipe he uses to cook pork chops, Calabrian style (I gave him a cookbook that he loves) only they use sage instead of the parsley. They are the most delicious pork chops I've ever had, so I can only imagine the wonderfulness of the tuna version.

    ciao ciao!

  6. the drunken tuna sounds molto delicioso, but i could barely take my eyes off that foto - stunningly beautiful!

    actually reminds me of places in greece!

  7. Isn't the correct word "ubriaco" rather than "briaco". It sounds good anyway.

  8. Brian~ I'm a savory breakfast person myself.
    Saretta~ It's always good!!
    Joe~ It's delicious, fresh from the sea. I once caught a 25-kilo one near Positano, and the old fishermen in the village still remember (and commend) me for it!
    RNSANE~ I've lost interest in sahimi lately... don't know why.
    Louciao~ Please let me know how they turn out when you do make these!
    Amanda~ Sicily is in actual fact a small piece of Greece that floated away in the Ionian sea... ;)
    Casalbordino~ Yes, the correct word for drunk is ubriaco, but this is a regional recipe, and it is called with its Tuscan dialectal name, 'briaco. I should have included the apostrophe, you're right.

    Thank you for your lovely comments! Grazie

  9. I had some lovely tuna steaks just last night! Mmmmmmmmmm!

  10. What a great concept... we have Ahi here in Hawaii, a smaller tuna, but I think it would still go well with this method.

  11. Dear Lola,
    You never fail to get me salivating...

    Though I have to admit, there have been alot of sad stories in the press lately about how tuna are disappearing at an alarming rate, and yet the fishing boats continue to haul them in wherever they can be found, with ever more sophisticated means of finding them... I hope we won't drive them to extinction, these magnificent and delicious tuna fish...

    The fishing village looks gorgeous... a fine place to get away from the rat race for a while.

    PS saw your comment over at Magpie's place, and hope you're doing ok... sending some warm, positive thoughts your way...

  12. Hello, dear Lola!!! So great to hear from you...I'm so sorry I haven't stopped by lately...like you, I've been a bit overwhelmed! Working too hard, to be honest! But you've been in my thoughts on and off...and I've been wondering how you were getting on!!! You'll be in my thoughts and prayers for sure! And I'll try to be better about stopping by more regularly...I PROMISE!! I've missed all your wonderful posts...and I have only myself to blame for that!! :-( Have a wonderful weekend!!! ~Janine XO

  13. Jim~ see, we're always in sync!
    Devany~ Ahi worls perfectly with this method. Here we call Ahi TONNETTO, meaning "smaller." Thank you for visiting!
    Owen~ Thank you, my friend. I am in dire need of reassurance, friends and moral support! Your comment made me happy.
    Janine~ You are always so sweet! Thank you for your kind and warm words. Drop by anytime!!