We were recently invited to attend an evening get together for apertivi (drinks) and bocconcini ( little bites) hosted my Italian tutor, P. There we were-a small group of men and women totally smitten with Italy and struggling to master its beautiful language. For the most part, we stood around and spoke in English (what bad students we are) but the food and the drinks were definitely Italian. The counters were covered with platters filled with antipasti, but no one was eating. I waited as long as I could and then just decided that I would be bold and make a move towards the mozzarella in carozza. Why be shy when there’s bread oozing with warm mozzarella, just waiting to be eaten?
Of course I made it my duty to try each and every appetizer. There were little bites of prosciutto wrapped in fried pizza dough, bruschetta with chopped tomatoes, tiny rolls studded with chunks of prosciutto, crostini with sliced tomato and mozzarella drizzled with balsamic and last but not least-un tramezzino di tonno. A tramezzino is a small sandwich usually made white bread and cut into triangles. You’ll find these in cafes and bars all over Italy, the perfect choice for a snack or a light lunch. We discovered that P.’s Sicilian father had prepared the tasty tuna tramezzini and was willing to share his recipe. I knew it would make a perfect hors d’oeuvres for our upcoming dinner party, but I opted to serve it in toasted ciabattia slices, as I couldn’t find any good quality white sandwich bread.
Il Tramezzino di Tonno
2 cans tuna (preferably in olive oil)
1 small onion, finely chopped
about 15 black olives, minced
3 cornichons, minced
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
capers for garnish
I used a mini food processor to finely chopped up the tuna, but you could do this with a fork. Put tuna in a bowl, add the minced olives, cornichons and onions and mix. Add the mayonnaise and stir. Spread on bread or crostini and top with a few capers or a slice of olive.