Tonno al Forno – baked tuna

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I first enjoyed this dish in 1994, on one of my visits to The World of Regaleali in Sicily. I was so surprised at how simple a dish could be so delicious. I have since served it to many friends who I thought might be skeptical about eating it. Needless to say the dish won raves!

Serves 6-8 (leftovers make a delicious topping for pasta)

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 C. mint leaves
  • 2 - 4 anchovy fillets
  • 3 - 3 1/2 lb. fresh tuna in one piece
  • S & P
  • 1/4 C. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 C. white wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 sprig of rosemary


Preheat oven to 375°F.

Chop the garlic, mint and anchovy separately and mix together very well. With the tip of a knife, make holes in the tuna, about 1 1/2 in. deep and about 2 1/2 in. apart. Fill the holes with the garlic mixture. Rub the tuna with S & P and any left over garlic mixture. Put the tuna in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 10 min.

Remove the tuna from the oven, pour about 1 C. of white wine and the lemon juice into the pan, and scrape the bottom with a wooden spatula. Put the rosemary in the pan. Reduce the heat to 350°F, return the tuna to the oven and cook until done, turn once (about 30 minutes). Test by inserting the tip of the knife; it should go in easily. Remove from the oven and set the fish aside on a serving dish and keep it warm while you make the sauce.

Place the roasting pan on the stovetop over low heat. Add the remaining 1/2 C of wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Strain the sauce over the fish.

To serve, break off pieces with a spoon. Do not cut or slice the fish.

Adapted from “The Flavors of Sicily” by Anna Tasca Lanza, 1996