Fresh Tuna Meatballs

August  9, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

I would never normally have dreamed of doing something like this to such an expensive fish...but they are just so darned tasty and worth every last penny. The sauce is packed full of veggies but if you don't want to go to all the effort then a simple tomato sauce will do. Regardless, these are special occasion meatballs so don't be intimidated by the number of ingredients. —Londonfoodieny

What You'll Need
  • For the sauce
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/3 fennel bulb, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 28oz cans whole plum tomatoes (such as San Marzano)
  • For the tuna meatballs
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 fennel bulb, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 19 ounces Fresh tuna (sustainable)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 anchovies, chopped (optional)
  • 1/3 cup fresh tarragon or parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped (optional)
  • 1 1/2 ounces freshly grated parmesan
  • 3 ounces fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  1. For the sauce
  2. Heat a good glug of olive oil in a large heavy based pan over a medium-high heat. Add all of the vegetables, turn the heat down to medium and stir to coat in the oil. Cook, stirring often for about 10 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Add the tomatoes, squeezing each tomato between your hands to break up (or use a large pair of scissors). Bring up to a boil and then turn the heat down and allow to gently simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. To finish you can puree the sauce if you like it smooth or you can keep it as is. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  1. For the tuna meatballs
  2. For the meatballs, heat 1 Tbsp olive in in a large heavy based frying pan. Add the onion and fennel over a medium-low heat and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic for the last minute of cooking. Remove to a bowl and allow to cool.
  3. Cut out any of the bloodline on the tuna and discard. Cut into roughly 2.5cm/1 inch cubes. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in the same frying pan. Season the tuna lightly with salt (the anchovies and parmesan are salty), pepper and the cinnamon. Toss into the pan with the anchovies shake the pan gently to turn the tuna around and sear on all sides. You do not need to cook it all the way through. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.
  4. Once cool mix together with the onion mixture and the remaining ingredients. Squeeze the mixture into balls using your hand. You really need to squeeze the mixture to get it to form into balls. You can make them any size you like but the mixture will make 12 the size of a small scoop of ice cream. Place onto a baking tray lined with bake-o-glide or parchment, cover lightly with cling film and chill for half an hour.
  5. Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Bake the meatballs in the oven for 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Alternatively, you can fry them on the stove in olive oil, but this is messier so I choose to bake them! Toss with the sauce and serve with extra shreds of parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

0 Reviews