Handmade spaghetti with balls of tuna


by: Cali Chef

This is a typical dish from Puglia, which at first might seem to go against the idea of spaghetti and meatballs not working well together — despite the dish made up in America. However, the halls of tuna are very fragile, so when you spear them with your fork they are crushed and fall apart.


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serves: 4

pinch of saffron threads (or ground turmeric)

18 tablespoons warm water

3 1/2 00 cups (doppio zero) flour

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

For the polpettine:

7 ounces fresh tuna

1 egg yolk

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)

1/2 wineglass of white wine

2 tomatoes (blanched, skinned and quartered)

3 tablespoons tomato passata

handful of parsley (leaves)

salt and pepper

Nutrition Facts
Handmade spaghetti with balls of tuna

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 673

  • Total Fat: 21.8 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 3.6 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 65 mg
  • Sodium: 135.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 90.2 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 4.7 g
  •     Sugars: 3.6 g
  • Protein: 25.2 g

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1.  If you like, you can cook some mussels as we do for prawn ravioli (you can serve them as a starter) then add their juice to the sauce, after you have added the wine, along with the tomato and passata.

2.  Add the saffron or turmeric to the warm water and stir around. Follow the method for the egg pasta, but add the water in place of the eggs. Knead in the same way, but instead of allowing the dough to rest, roll it through the machine immediately.

3.  If you have a tagliolini attachment for your machine, put the pasta through again using this; otherwise cut it by hand.

4.  To do this, first cut your strip of pasta into lengths of about 6 inches (probably about three lengths). Working with one strip at a time, and using a clean plastic ruler as a guide, cut strips lengthwise about 1/8 inch wide (make them a little wider if you find it difficult). Repeat until all the pasta is used, dusting the pasta with flour if you feel it is getting too sticky.

5.  Chop the tuna very fine and squash it a little with the flat side of a knife. Put it into a mixing bowl, season and add the egg yolk. Mix well, then take a little at a time and roll into small balls about 3/4 inch in diameter.

6.  Put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta.

7.  Heat half the oil in a saute pan, add the garlic and fry gently until soft but not colored, then add the tuna balls and turn them gently, so that they are sealed all around — don't worry if some of them break up. When the tuna balls have changed color completely from pink to gray, add the white wine, let it reduce until it has almost evaporated, add the quartered tomato and the passata, and cook for a couple of minutes. Season.

8.  Put the pasta into the salted boiling water and keep stirring, as it will tend to stick together. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, than drain, reserving the cooking water.

9.  Add the pasta to the pan containing the tuna, then chop the parsley leaves and scatter in.

10.  Toss everything together, add the rest of the olive oil and keep stirring for another minute or so, adding a little of the reserved cooking water to loosen if necessary. If you are using fresh pasta, you will need this, as it will suck in more liquid than egg pasta — and don't worry if the sauce seems slightly more soupy than usual when you serve it, as the pasta will absorb it very quickly, even on the plate.

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