Alas, like many other things, the traditional tonnara has fallen into decline, a victim of increasing industrial pollution in the Mediterranean and overfishing by commercial fleets that operate out at sea. However, some tonnare survive, and aside from the use of outboard motors and synthetic materials in the nets, little has changed in the fishing technique. The tonnare located where the tuna no longer arrive, you wonder? Many are in strikingly beautiful spots, so they're being converted into summer resorts -- sad, in a way, but at least they're being preserved.
Returning to tuna, much of the catch was certainly preserved, in part by packing in oil. However, there are also many ways of preparing fresh tuna. Don't have tuna where you live? Ask your fishmonger. Other large fish of the same family should also work well in these recipes, as might other large fish, for example swordfish:
- Cipolle Ripiene col Tonno
Onions filled with tuna, a Ligurian treat that will be perfect in summer.
- Insalata di Pasta Profumata al Limone
A tasty lemony pasta salad with plenty of tuna, which makes it a mael by itself (or with a green salad)
- Tunnina Ca Cipuddata
Tuna with onions is good hot but just as tasty cool, which makes it perfect for the summer months.
- Tonnu a la Matalotta
Tuna Matalotta Style, in other words stewed with tomatoes, olives and capers.
- Tunnacchiu 'Nfurnatu
Baked Tuna, with thinly sliced potatoes, is very good.
- Marinated Tuna, or Tonno con la Marinata
Tuna steaks, sauteed, marinated in an onion sauce, and served cool: fine summer food from Trapani.
- Tonno al Limone
Delightful lemony tuna fillets from Sardegna.
- Tunnu a Palirmitana
Grilled tuna with garlic, rosemary and sage.
- Tonnu Rigatanu
Fresh Tuna marinated with fresh oregano and grilled.
- Tonno Cunzatu 'Nta Gratigghia
Fresh tuna marinated in wine and grilled with herbs.
- Tonno coi Piselli
Tuna with peas: a quick, easy summer recipe.
- Tunnu Squadatu d'u Capu Rais
Fresh tuna, boiled and served with a delicate lemon sauce.
- Tonnu a Ra Marinara
Zesty Calabrian stewed tuna.
- Tonno Cunzatu
Tuna grilled, and marinated with olives. Quite nice on a hot day.
- Tonno Fresco al Cartoccio
Tuna baked al cartoccio (in paper), Viareggio style.
- Pomodori Ripieni al Tonno
Tuna fish and tomato go well year round, and become perfection in this tasty stuffed tomato recipe.
- On Grilling Fish
Excellent advice from Derrick, About.Com's barbecue guide.
- Robin Garr's world of Creative Fish Cookery
Begins with tonno alla genovese. A fun collection of recipes in a whimsical style.
- Derrick's Grilled Citrus Tuna
And other grilled fish as well. Not specifically traditional Italian. but you could encounter them here. He also gives excellent tips on grilling fish.
A Sicilian Travel Link:
- Le Saline di Trapani
White mountains of sea salt, gathered in the age-old way in Sicily. Looks fun & interesting, and they also have other suggestions for things to see in the area.