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Tombarello or Tonnetto: Bullet Tuna or Little Tunny

Agghiotta di Tonno

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Tombarello or Tonnetto: Bullet Tuna.

Tombarello or Tonnetto: There are many kinds of small tunafish called tonnetti in Italian waters. These are Bullet Tuna.

Kyle Phillips © 2006 Licensed to About.Com

Though people generally think of the giant bluefin when one mentions tuna, there are many other members of the family, including some that are fairly small, for example the tonnetto, which I have seen identified as bullet tuna, and Alan Davidson identifies as "Little Tunny;" the latter name is apt in English (and mirrors the Italian; the suffix etto is a diminutive) -- the fish can reach a length of 30 inches (80 cm), but those pictured here are considerably less, about 18 inches.

Fresh tuna are very nice when cooked whole using the cartoccio technique (roasted in a packet, with herbs and seasoning), or you could cook one in salt. You can also filet a whole tuna, and then make a classic Sicilian dish:

Agghiotta di Tonno

To serve 4:
2 1/4 pounds (1 k) fresh tuna, cubed
1 pound (500 g) white onions, sliced
8 small mild peppers, seeded and cut into rings
8 capers
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste, dissolved in 3/4 cup (200 ml) warm water
8 slices homemade bread
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground red or black pepper

Brown the fish in the olive oil, and when all sides are browned add the wine, capers, onions, and peppers. Cook, occasionally stirring gently, until the wine has evaporated. and then add the water with the tomato paste and simmer for 15 minutes; add more water, without stirring, and season the fish. Simmer another 10 minutes.

In the meantime, toast the bread and lay the slices on your plates. Spoon the tuna and its sauce over the slices of bread, and serve at once.

Tuna on About:
Broiled Tuna With Lemon Caper Sauce
Lemongrass Seared Ahi Tuna with Asian Salsa Recipe

How to Select Fresh Fish
How to Serve a Whole Fish at Table
Other Fish Recipes

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