Tuna Balls in Wine Sauce

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(I used oil-packed tuna, but the original recipe calls for water-packed tuna) In 1986, Carol gave me Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain by Penelope Casas for Christmas, and we have been cooking out of it ever since.  Most recently we made a tuna ball tapas for Carol’s sister and her pescaterian husband and they were quite popular.   This will make about 12 1-1/2 inch meatballs, and is made almost entirely out of pantry ingredients.  It takes about 45 minutes to make.

5 Tbs. bread crumbs

10 Tbs. chicken broth or clam juice, divided

6 Tbs. dry white wine, divided

6-1/2 oz. can of tuna, drained and flaked (I used oil-packed tuna, but the original recipe calls for water-packed tuna)

1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped

1 raw egg, lightly beaten

3 Tbs. parsley, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Flour for dusting

2 Tbs. olive oil

Capers (optional)

In a large bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and 3 Tbs. of the chicken broth or clam juice  and 1 Tbs. of the wine.  Add the tuna, hard-boiled and raw egg, parsley, garlic, and salt and pepper, and mix well.  (To test seasoning, make a tiny ball of the mixture and microwave it to cook the raw egg, and then taste it.)

Form the mixture into 1-1/2 inch meatballs and place them on a cookie sheet.  Dust them on all sides with flour.  Be gentle, because they are rather fragile.

Heat the oil in a large skillet.  When hot, add the meatballs in a single layer and cook over medium heat until they are browned on all sides.  Add the rest of the chicken broth or clam juice and white wine and cover.  Simmer the balls for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If the balls soak up all of the liquid, add some water.  After 30 minutes, remove the cover, and if there is still a lot of liquid, reduce it to a glaze.

Serve as is or with optional capers.

This can be prepared in advance.


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