Saturday, 10 November 2007


Regular readers amongst you have probably noticed I don't cook or eat much red meat. I've never been a big fan partly because of the taste. But the worst part for me is the smell of cooking meat, especially the browning part. It turns my stomach. So at home I stick to chicken which I can just about deal with and fish when Mr C approves!

To cut this story short, I was leafing through Jamie's Italy earlier in the week and hit a small jackpot - tuna meatballs!

I made them last night and they were surprisingly pleasant. The cinnamon on the tuna was a great mix.

Le migliori polpette di tonna
(Serves 4)

For the tomato sauce
olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 x 400g tin plum tomatoes
red wine vinegar

For the meatballs
400g steak tuna
olive oil
55g pinenuts
1 level teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
handful chopped fresh parsley
100g stale breadcrumbs
55g Parmesan
2 eggs
juice of 1 lemon

Chop the tuna in 1" squares
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan
Add the tuna, cinnamon and pinenuts. Season with salt & pepper and cook until tuna has browned on all sides
Tip the tuna mixture into a big bowl and leave to cool for 5 minutes
Once cooled, add the other ingredients and using your hands mix together
Squeeze the mixture into small balls (slightly smaller than a golf ball)
Pop the meatballs on an oiled baking tray and leave them in the fridge for an hour
As soon as the meatballs go in the fridge, start the tomato sauce -

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil on pan and gently fry the onion and garlic until soft
Add the oregano, tomatoes and season with salt & pepper
Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes
Then using a hand held blender liquidise until smooth
Taste for seasoning & add a dash of red wine vinegar if needed

Once out of the fridge, heat oil in the same frying pan as before and gently fry the meatballs until golden all over - be careful as my first batch crumbled away into lots of bits!

Serve with the tomato sauce and spaggetti

I made 1/2 the tuna amount but the full amount of tomato sauce and have frozen it for next time - or another pasta dish.

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