While in Capri’s Marina Grande, I met a few fishermen who were offloading nets from their boat. I spent time talking (in my broken Italian) to one fisherman in particular called Franco, who told me his diet consisted of sardines, tiny red prawns and tuna – all enjoyed simply with lemon and extra virgin olive oil. He claimed that a version of acqua pazza – a traditional southern Italian dish of poached fish in ‘crazy water’ – could be made with all three types of seafood much to the other fishermen’s disbelief: ‘No! No! Nooo!’. After much debate about this, he also declared that tuna carpaccio with lemon juice, chilli and olive oil was another ‘Franco favourite’. Here it is, with a little more Je ne sais quoi!
- 200g fresh tuna steak
- 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped
- 20g toasted pine nuts
- ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- Small bunch of chives, half finely chopped
- Finely grated zest and juice of ½ unwaxed lemon
For the dressing
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To make the dressing, combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Check the seasoning and set aside.
- Lay out two serving plates. Use a sharp knife to thinly slice the tuna lengthways and arrange the slices flat on the plates, one piece next to the other, until both plates are covered.
- Arrange the tomato halves on top of the carpaccio, followed by the chopped spring onion, pine nuts, finely chopped chives and chilli. Drizzle the dressing over the top and finish with the lemon zest and juice. Scatter over the remaining chives to garnish.