Growing up as a very fat kid in Uruguay, in an all Italian block (in the midst of the Jewish area – go figure), meant being bullied a lot; until… my mother became the best Italian cook on the block. Suddenly everybody wanted to be invited to have a taste of her home-made pasta (Pasta Fatta in Casa), her Marinara or Margherita sauces, her Pizza Quattro Stagioni or the Piadina or the fat Sfinciuni, or breads like her Pane Siciliano, or Ciabatta, or that incredible Focaccia con Cipolle. Ahhh, quelli giorni!!!
This is one of her dishes, though I will confess… not being into fish – at the time – or anything that may have resembled one, I never touched it:
Tonno alla Siciliana – Sicilian Tuna
- 4 tuna steaks, about 5 ounces each
- 2 fennel bulbs, thickly sliced lengthwise
- 2 red onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- crusty rolls, to serve
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 4 fresh red chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- juice and finely grated lemon rind
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- Whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Put the tuna steaks in a large , shallow dish and spoon over a tablespoon of the marinade, turning until well coated. Cover and let marinade in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Set aside the remaining marinade.
- Heat a stovetop grill pan over high heat. In a separate bowl, put the fennel and onions, add the oil and to toss to coat well. Add to grill pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side until it barely starts acquiring color. Transfer to four warmed serving plates, drizzle with the remaining marinade, keep warm.
- Add the tuna steaks to the grill and cook, turning once, for 5 minutes until firm to the touch but still moist inside. Transfer to the serving plates and serve immediately with crusty rolls.
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!