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Jamie Oliver’s tuna meatballs

Don’t they look great?
This is one of the most popular Jamie’s recipe, and he claims they’re the best tuna meatballs ever.
Well, first of all I thought it’s pretty easy to please a meatball lover (everyone on Earth is a fan of meatballs!) and at the same time I wasn’t sure about the combination of tuna and cinnamon (Skeptical? Me? I’m still the one who makes clafoutis with peppers :- ). Anyway, I gave it a try and, needless to say, I was ready to trust Jamie :- )
I loved this dish, it’s so flavourful, comforting and it made me love the tomato sauce which I’m normally not a big fan of.
So, make your own meatballs and enjoy them with good bread or pasta.

                                                                           The best tuna meatballs by Jamie Oliver
                                                                                                               (Serves 4)

tomato sauce:
olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced (2 cloves for me)
1 tsp dried oregano
800gr canned plum tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
red wine vinegar
a small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped

meatballs:
400g sustainably sourced tuna
olive oil
50gr pinenuts
1 level tsp ground cinnamon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
100g breadcrumbs
5og  grated Parmesan
2 free-range eggs
zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • First make your sauce. Place a large pan on the heat, add a good glug of olive oil, your onion and garlic and fry slowly for 10 or so minutes until soft. Add your oregano, the tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, then liquidize until smooth. Taste – it might need a tiny swig of red wine vinegar or some extra seasoning.
  • Chop the tuna up into 2.5cm/1 inch dice. Pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into a large frying pan and place on the heat. Add the tuna to the pan with the pinenuts and cinnamon. Season lightly with salt and pepper and fry for a minute or so to cook the tuna on all sides and toast the pinenuts.
  • Remove from the heat and put the mixture into a bowl. Allow to cool down for 5 minutes, then add the oregano, parsley, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, eggs, lemon zest and juice to the bowl.
  • Using your hands, really scrunch and mix the flavours into the tuna, then divide the mixture and squeeze it into meatballs slightly smaller than a golf ball. If you dip one of your hands in water while shaping you’ll get a nice smooth surface on the meatball. If the mixture’s very sticky, add a few more breadcrumbs. Place the meatballs on an oiled tray, then put them in the fridge for an hour to let them rest.
  • Put the pan you fried the tuna in back on the heat with a little olive oil. Add your meatballs to the pan and jiggle them about until they’re golden brown all over. You might want to do them in batches – when they’re done, add them to the tomato sauce, divide between your plates, sprinkle with chopped parsley and drizzle with good olive oil.

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