Tuna meatballs with tomato and Mint, Alla siciliana

tuna meatballs with tomato sauce and mint, Sicilian recipe. These meatballs nobody can resist: the recipe is my grandmother. Flavored with fresh mint, pecorino cheese, raisins and pine nuts. First of all,, the FRY in oil to give a delicious crust and then bake it in the sauce so that they become soft. The aroma of mint and the sweetness of the raisins, combined with the spicy chili and garlic do the rest. The accompany with an aromatic rice boiled, to give a modern touch to the dish, but pointless ramble: the classic Bootie in Gravy, with a slice of country-style bread, casareccio, best if toasted and seasoned with salt and good oil, should be done and can't be beat. I remember my grandmother often prepared a nice crock pot. For me it was a big party every time I sat at the table in front of those delicious fish balls! I hope you like it as for me. You know by now that usually don't use tuna but I prefer the yellow fin variety, the tuna, the fish or the long wing. This time I bought the fresh tuna for two reasons: the main one is that, According to the latest figures from dell’ICCAT, the fishing quota for bluefin tuna of the Mediterranean Sea has been raised because the population of bluefin tuna is on the rise. Then, I treated myself to the purchase. The second reason: I really wanted to feel the taste of Grandma's meatballs. If you want, though, You can replace the tuna with sardines, and the result will still be excellent. If you like tuna even try tuna and sour Sicilian, with caramelized onions and mint. Is’ yummy.


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  • 700 grams of fresh tuna
  • 1 clove garlic
  • fresh mint as required
  • 60 grams of bread crumbs
  • 50 grams of grated pecorino cheese Dop
  • pine nuts and raisins just enough
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  • breadcrumbs to coat the meatballs
  • oil for frying
  • for the sauce
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 750 grams of peeled tomatoes or tomato puree
  • raisins and pine nuts as required
  • Salt
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • fresh mint as required


Put the bread in a bowl and sprinkle with a little mineral water. Clean the tuna skin and any bones. Chop the tuna with a knife (I prefer not to whip because I love that the meatballs are too homogenous consistency, But if you want you can just chop it with the mixer). Finely chop the Mint and garlic and, coarsely, the raisins and pine nuts. In a bowl, put the tuna, Mint, garlic, raisins, pine nuts, pecorino cheese, beaten egg and cream soaked bread. Work with your fingertips until the mixture is homogeneous. Season with salt and pepper. Make the dough for 15-30 minutes in the refrigerator.

With hands slightly wet, form round dumplings and as big as a ping-pong ball; pass the Meatballs in breadcrumbs lightly salted; FRY in peanut oil for one minute: must only Brown because they finish cooking in the sauce. Set aside.

Prepare the tomato sauce: clean the garlic and fry it in a pan without making it darken. Combine chopped mint leaves, the chili, the raisins and pine nuts; then add the tomato. Season with salt, Deglaze with white wine and allow to evaporate the alcohol part. Cook for five minutes; then add the meatballs, cover and cook for 10 minutes, until the sauce will not be dense and flavorful. I suggest you prepare these meatballs with a few hours in advance and then warm up all over very low heat: are going to be even tastier. The aromatic rice type usually accompany jasmine or basmati, simply boiled. Bon appétit!

THE PAIRING: Franciacorta DOCG Brut Rosé Cantine Barone Pizzini. A pink classic method, produced with Pinot Noir, combining a nice sour plot a discreet body. After fermentation, This wine is matured for six months in barrique and steel, then refines in bottle on yeast for between thirty and forty months. Ribes, Blueberry and pink are the main fragrances, with a flavor that makes pairing it with these meatballs.

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Sabrina October 9, 2015 at 14:01

Awesome!!! Indeed ,to put it as my baby, strabuone!! And said to him that don't like fish…

Ada Parisi October 9, 2015 at 14:52

But thanks Sabrina!!! And thanks to your child, This compliment coming from him who does not like the fish is even more pleasing! A warm greeting, ADA

Ilaria July 2, 2015 at 13:37

ADA, Sorry, If we take the https://www.sicilianicreativiincucina.it/polpo-allalgherese/ you say it's okay? Or tomato in both dishes is excessive?
Otherwise, After the meatballs what do you recommend? Something not too complicated because I come from the office at 18 and I have little time 🙁
grazieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee <3

Ada Parisi July 2, 2015 at 13:40

Hi Ilaria watch are two different dishes, in a tomato is cooked and the other is raw so I would say they are okay. Then one is hot and the other cold. If you want to match something with the Octopus but without the tomato trying that with potatoes that are here: https://www.sicilianicreativiincucina.it/insalata-di-polpo-con-patate-e-salsa-al-prezzemolo/ Let me know!!!

Ilaria July 2, 2015 at 13:43

View! 😉 but I wanted to try something different, Octopus and potatoes we eat often. I try the algherese! Tomorrow I'll tell you!! Thanks for everything, a hug

Ada Parisi July 2, 2015 at 14:24

Then have fun! Appearance news!

Rosy July 1, 2015 at 14:28

I like this one, I will try soon.
Thanks Ada

Ada Parisi July 1, 2015 at 14:29

Thank You Rosy! If you don't find the tuna trial with sardines, My grandmother did with this recipe of pilchards rissoles of which I will never forget the taste…

Ilaria July 2, 2015 at 11:51

Hello, Dear Ada,
I usually have a lot of trouble 🙁 clean the fish were to use canned tuna, ruin the recipe?

Ada Parisi July 2, 2015 at 11:58

Ilaria no canned tuna is impossible, would be horrendous! But you don't have to worry about clean fish: you go from the fishmonger and let me give you a slice of fresh tuna and you will see that there is nothing to clean, usually sell the thread already clean from skin and Central bone. The tuna has thorns generally and then you will have no difficulty. Grind it with a knife and you'll see that it will only take a minute, It's like chopping a beef steak. Let me know! ADA

Ilaria July 2, 2015 at 11:59

I try!!! Thanks 🙂

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