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Tonnato Sauce

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Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Okay: what do you think of tonnato, a creamy, tangy sauce made with anchovies, capers, and canned tuna? For those of you smiling—high five! And if your nose is wrinkled in disgust, hear me out. I was once in your shoes, but this umami-packed sauce is truly a cinch to make from pantry staples and tastes good on EVERYTHING.

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

This classic Italian sauce is typically paired with chilled poached veal (vitello tonnato) and served as a picnic dish. Sadly, I almost never have poached veal lying around the house, so after I blitz a fresh batch of tonnato, I pour it on crudités, hard-boiled eggs, sliced heirloom tomatoes, poached or sous vide chicken, or steamed vegetables. Or all of the above.

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

It’s seriously good stuff.

Here’s what to gather to make 2 cups of sauce:

  • 1 (7-ounce) can tuna packed in olive oil, drained
  • 5 anchovies packed in olive oil, drained
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Paleo Mayonnaise
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Directions:

Dump all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. Done.

The sauce can be kept in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for a couple of days.

If you need more instruction and pictures before you’re willing to try this, read on, my skeptical friend.

Start by cracking open a can or jar of your favorite olive-oil packed tuna. Drain it and toss the fish in the blender.

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Add two tablespoons of capers…

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and five anchovy filets.

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Grab a large lemon…

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and add the juice (about 3 tablespoons) to the fishies and capers.

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

If you don’t have homemade Paleo-friendly mayonnaise in your fridge already, make a batch.

Then, pour in the olive oil

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and a scoop of the mayonnaise.

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Cover the blender and give the ingredients a whirl…

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…until a thick and creamy sauce forms.

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The consistency should be that of a pourable cream.

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Taste for seasoning and adjust with additional lemon juice, salt, and/or freshly ground black pepper as needed.

Now go dip some veggies in it…

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…or dress up a boring old chicken booby.

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Doubters: Try it and let me know what you think.


Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).