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Baked Tuna with Tomato Pesto
Tonno arrosto con il Pesto di Pomidoro
6 cloves garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
½ cup toasted pine nuts
1 28 oz. can Italian style peeled tomatoes, strained and chopped.
4 Tablespoons of olive oil
½ teaspoon sugar
6 tuna steaks, 1" thick (about 5 oz. each)
Yield: 6 generous portions
Place the garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes in a large mortar and pestle and pound into a paste. Add the parsley, basil and the pine nuts and grind until smooth. Add the strained tomatoes and carefully mush to a coarse paste. Add sugar if the tomatoes are tart. Transfer the paste to a larger bowl and whisk in the olive oil.
Smother the tuna steaks with the pesto and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (If you do not have a large mortar and pestle, use a food processor, it is not the same but it is pretty close.)
Baking technique: Preheat the oven to 425degrees. Place the tuna steaks and the marinade in a baking pan. Drizzle with the olive oil. Bake, uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the steaks are medium (still nice and pink inside) when checked with a sharp knife.
Broiling technique: Arrange the oven so the top rack is 3-4 inches from the broiler element. Preheat the broiler and cook the tuna steaks on a rack or broiler pan for 4-5 minutes, flip over and cook another 2-3 minutes until the steaks are still pink in the center, like a medium steak. Serve immediately with the Pesto on the side.
The easiest and safest way to toast the pine nuts, is to toss them with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and bake them in a 325 preheated oven for 5-6 minutes, in a
non-stick baking sheet.
©2013 Nick Stellino Productions