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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spaghetti and tuna balls

A twist on a Italian classic dish, the spaghetti and meatballs. If you like tuna and try to avoid meat, this is the answer. Also, you can make this very fast, using canned tuna (already cooked) and jar tomato sauce. Apologies to people who make a principle from cooking from scratch (as we most of the time do), but the easy way just appealed more to us the night we made this. If you do want to make it from scratch we recommend our perfect pomodoro sauce to start with ;).
I must mention that the lemon basil is such a nice alternative to the regular one, especially in dishes like this, both with fish and Mediterranean-style. But, of course, you can make this dish with regular basil and it will still taste wonderful.
Recipe adapted (or, dare I say, improved) from here

Ingredients (serves 2 very hungry people):
  • 250 spaghetti
  • 400 g tomato sauce from the jar (ours was with a little basil added, also) 
  • 2 cans of tuna in oil of 130 g each (weight without the oil)
  • handful of walnuts (preferably already chopped or ground)
  • zest from one orange (gives a nicer flavor here than lemon)
  • juice from on lemon
  • bunch of fresh lemon basil
  • 50 g salty crackers
  • 1 egg

Get the tuna out of the cans, draining most of the oil and discarding it. The little oil you keep, put in a frying pan to use later. 

Pick the leaves from the lemon basil bunch and wash them:

Add the smashed crackers to the tuna, together with the lemon juice, orange zest and the chopped basil:

Work everything into a paste. It doesn't have to be absolutely even. Also add the lightly beaten egg and mix again.  

Boil the pasta according to package instructions:

Set the pasta on two plates:

Top each plate with half of the tomato sauce and mix:

Heat the tuna oil from the frying pan, then start making balls of tuna paste in your hands:

Fry them gently, few at a time, for about 3-4 minutes on each side:

Don't forget to turn them on each side:

Then, just place them on the spaghetti plates and dig in! 

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