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Friday, November 10, 2017

Spagetti With Tuna Balls and Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce

I  saw these tuna balls  recipe in, where  pasta was served with these tuna balls made with canned tuna. Of course as you know canned tuna is a pantry staple in my home so I just had to give it try. The boys and hubby loved it, I tried a couple of sauces along with it, but this one , made using fresh cherry tomatoes came out the winner and didn't mask the delicate tuna balls taste.

I was planning to use regular tomatoes but on my regular visit to my usual grocery shop, Seagull store I saw these gorgeous cherry tomatoes grown locally in the island of Maafahi. You can use regular tomatoes, chopped  roughly and substitute fresh basil in place of the curry leaves for a different taste.

Recipe : Spagetti with Tuna Balls and Fresh Cherry Tomato sauce.

For the Tuna Balls
1 can tuna, drained
2 slices sandwich bread( or 50g fresh breadcrumbs)
juice and zest of 1/2 lime
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 finely chopped chilli (optional)

225-250g cherry tomatoes(halved) or regular tomatoes (chopped)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4cup water
1/4-1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes ( more if you love the spicier kind)
1 sprig ( about 12 leaves) curry leaves
1/2  cup pasta cooking water

250g spagetti
50g parmesan cheese ( if you dont have any, 1 tsp creamcheese spread )

olive oil

First prepare the tuna balls,  Flake the can of fish into a bowl, Process the bread into crumbs in the food processor.  Add to the bowl, along with chilli , lime juice, zest, pinch of salt, pepper and onion. Mix with your fingers, taste and adjust salt and seasoning. Then add egg yolk.  Mix well and shape into small balls, you will be able to make about 14 mini bite size balls. Leave to chill in the fridge for an hour , covered with cling film.

After an hour, heat  a little oil , about 3-4 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan.  Add the tuna balls carefully and let them  brown, Do not fiddle with them, give  a few minutes before you carefully turn them , they are quite delicate . Brown all the sides, making sure you dont burn them. Remove to a plate.

Bring a large pan of water to boil with salt and cook your spagetti till aldente.

While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce, heat the frying pan you were using ( that is if its a large deep one, other wise go for  larger pan,  add the garlic and curry and cook 2 minutes till they give out their aroma.

Add the tomatoes, and curry leaves and 1/4 cup water  and the dried chillies flakes and let it  simmer, covered for a few minutes.  Remove the lid, add 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water from the pasta pot, let it simmer, give a little taste, add salt to taste and ground black pepper to taste. Add the tuna Balls into the sauce.( now if you using cream cheese spread I suggest you add a spoon ful now before adding the salt , taste again and add seasoning if needed, you dont really have to add the cream cheese spread , it tastes great even without the cheese at all.) 

Drain the pasta and add to the pan, you might need a little more of the cooking water when mixing so set a side a 1/4 cup. Stir the pasta into the sauce  ( now on low heat)and toss carefully so you dont break the tuna balls . Add little cooking water if you need to loosen the sauce a bit.  Switch off heat, take the pan off the heat and stir in parmesan cheese.

 Serve as soon as possible .


  1. A simple yet awesome meal, Nammi. Fresh cherry tomato sauce is definitely a great idea.

  2. Wow...That's a lovely meal with that lovely sauce!

  3. I am really intrigued by the tuna balls... it would be good in a curry like sauce too!

  4. A lovely meal, perfect for any meal of the day!

  5. I've always wanted to try tuna meatballs, but never got to it somehow. I love bbc good food, I subscribed to their magazine (the kindle version) and I can't wait for it every month, they have such great recipes and photography.


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