When someone hands me a big bag of super fresh Tuna that was in the ocean just hours before, my mind starts racing with new ways to prepare it. A slight excess of Tuna is never a bad problem to have and I wanted to try something different and had just seen a recipe from Hank Shaw for Tuna Meatballs that looked so delicious and would serve as my inspiration. I’ve been on a bit of a tomato sauce kick lately, which works perfectly with this dish.
The tuna meatballs that we made were pretty large and two were plenty for an entrée size portion. You could make them bite size for a perfect appetizer at your next party. They came out wonderfully and I was really surprised how similar the texture is to a traditional meatball. Nice and crispy on the outside and delicate on the inside.
- 2 pounds tuna cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup onion minced fine
- 1/2 cup italian parsley chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt + freshly ground pepper
- canola oil for frying
- flour for dusting
- your favorite tomato sauce
- Working in three batches; place the tuna, pine nuts, parsley and onions in a food processor and pulse about 8 to 10 times to combine, but not puree. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the eggs, breadcrumbs, salt + pepper and lemon zest. Gently mix with your hands to combine well.
- Use an ice cream scoop to portion the meatballs, then form with your hands and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. You should get about 20 to 25 meatballs, depending on the size of your scoop.
- Dust the meatballs with the flour in a shallow dish, then place them back on the sheet pan.
- Heat 1/2" canola oil in a frying pan until it is 350 degrees. Fry 6-8 meatballs at a time until browned on each side and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Place on a paper towel lined sheet pan to drain off any excess oil.
- Heat the tomato sauce in a separate pan and stew the meatballs for about 5 minutes to warm through.
- Serve with pasta and tomato sauce.