Let’s start with some information. Ventresca is the most prized part of red tuna or yellow-fin tuna, which is usually eaten fresh or packaged for preservation in olive oil.
Summer afternoons? A snack of skewers of tuna and cherry tomatoes is perfect.
What do the Japanese know about the true intense flavour of raw tuna! I knew it at the Egadi Islands and I also use it raw in creations that send my palate into pure joy during breaks.
It’s nice to spend time with friends, the real ones, chatting on the terrace waiting for what remains of the Ponentino.
I hate aperitifs, only the ‘apericena’ (an aperitif that is as big as a meal) is worse, and they are barbaric forms of non-dining that I consider hateful, they destroy the expectation of good food.
But what to use as a snack? Small pizzas and sandwiches have been beaten up so I have created something original and really tasty. Prepare some skewers with ventresca of tuna, cherry tomatoes stuffed with ricotta and cucuncio.
Don’t you know what a “cucuncio” is?
It is the fruit of the caper plant, a small shrub that practically represents the southern Mediterranean. In Sicily the caper cannot be missed in the kitchen.
Normally the buds of the plant, called capers, are consumed and more rarely the fruits, called cucunci, are eaten. Both are preserved in oil, in vinegar or in salt.
Recipe of ventresca of tuna and cherry tomatoes on skewers: with Dario Magno
You always start from the ingredients and choose the ventresca, the tuna belly, the fattest and most noble part of the fish. The ventresca must be utterly raw and killed in a way to prevent surprises for our health.
I learned to appreciate this part of tuna in the Egadi islands, those on the tip of Sicily near Trapani, where they know a lot about it. Here, man has lived alongside tuna since the dawn of time and traces of cave paintings bear witness to this in the Grotta del Genovese in Levanzo.
Pachino (cherry tomatoes that always come from Sicily so that they take their name from the village of Pachino) are sweet like a cherry. I need to stuff them with sheep’s milk ricotta, freshly spiced with the dried citron from Naxos, the largest of the Cycladic islands in Greece. We are always in the southern Mediterranean.
One or two grains of salt is enough! The cocunci with garnish. Le Egadi and Favignana, splendid in its sea that smells of its few products of the earth, a fantastic world that I might even die for.
So we have a small snack with a skewer and some cherry tomatoes.
It is enough to accompany a good freshly opened wine, a sprightly, alluring drink. Maybe a Sauvignon Blanc with those notes reminiscent of summer.