Polpettine di Tonno
If you struggle to find sustainable tuna you can also make these patties with sardines, mackerel or pilchards. Living far from the sea I use tinned fish either in oil or brine, which I find works really well. You can flavour the patties with either curry powder or lemon zest, but don’t use both together.
For a quick dip you can mix a little curry powder in with the mayonnaise.
© 2023 Katie Caldesi / Hardie Grant Books · Reproduced with permission. · Venice by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi (Hardie Grant, £25.00) Photography: Helen Cathcart
You Will Need
Mix together in a large bowl the fish, potatoes, parsley, lemon zest or curry powder, and seasoning. Fry the onion in the oil over a medium heat for 5–7 minutes until soft. Add the potato and fish mixture to the pan and stir through until well combined then leave to cool. Roll into patties
Serve on their own, with a squeeze of lemon or with some mayonnaise mixed with a little curry powder to taste, if using.
A note about breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are made (by blitzing in a food processor) either soft from a fresh loaf or dry from one that has become stale.If you have only fresh soft bread and you want dry breadcrumbs, break up the loaf into egg-sized chunks and put them into an oven preheated to 180°C (350°F) for around 15 minutes to crisp up. Next pulse the chunks in a food processor to the desired texture (for very fine dust, remove the breadcrumbs from the processor and rub them through a sieve). Alternatively I like to use Japanese panko breadcrumbs, as they are crisp and don’t seem to absorb too much oil, and can be bought ready-made from most supermarkets. However if you want wet, soft breadcrumbs and all your bread is hard, soak stale bread in milk and when it is soft squeeze out the excess milk before transferring to the food processor. Breadcrumbs can be frozen; I find keeping little bags of them in my freezer very useful. Giancarlo likes to blitz herbs and garlic into his breadcrumbs so that they turn green and are well flavoured before use.