I developed this recipe of tuna polpette (meatballs) in a quick Neapolitan or tomato sauce for Lucky Star, using their canned, shredded tuna in brine. They are really flavourful and moist and huge hit with my family who kept munching them before we sat down to dinner. Baking the polpette keeps the shape intact and is a far healthier option than frying, though you may do so if you prefer.
For the polpette
Makes 18 medium or 36 tiny polpette
2 x cans (340 g) Lucky Star shredded tuna, drained (or fresh tuna minced)
1 medium onion, finely chopped and fried until soft and starring to brown
2 t garlic, finely chopped
3 T Italian parsley leaves, plucked and finely chopped
1-2 t chilli flakes
1 large free range egg, lightly beaten
60 ml bread crumbs
salt, to taste
For the Neapolitan Sauce
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 x tins (410 g x 2) peeled, chopped tomatoes
1 t brown sugar
salt, to taste
1. Add all the ingredients for the tuna polpette together in a bowl and combine using a fork, until well mixed.
2. Form into balls, the size of a ping pong ball or smaller. Place on a greased baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Turn polpette over and bake for 5 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. Keep warm but don’t allow to dry out.
3, For the sauce, in a saucepan fry onions with bay leaf in oil on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring. Add garlic and fry for 30 seconds.
4. Add tomatoes and turn heat up to medium and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add salt and sugar and cook down for 15- 20 minutes on low heat. Add a little water if it catches.
5. Add meatballs to thickened Neapolitan sauce, using tongs. Serve hot over fresh pasta e,g spaghetti or tagliolini and grate or shave over some fresh Parmesan.
Disclaimer: I am working with Lucky Star in this series and will be remunerated for it