Tuna loaf

Polpettone di tonno ai capperi. This is the favourite dish of Macio, one of my friends from Bergamo. He always cooks it when he has guests. It comes from Sale & Pepe, one of the better food magazines. It can be served as an antipasto or a main course. When I made it I didn’t process the paste long enough, so the loaf was a bit loose. It was delicious though. Serves 4 as a main course 8-10 as an antipasto.

Tuna loaf ingredients

Tuna loaf ingredients

  • 2 200g tins of tuna in brine
  • 2 egg whites
  • 20g grated grana or parmesan
  • 2 tbsp capers in vinegar
  • 4 anchovy fillets in oil
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  1. Drain the tuna and mash with a fork.
  2. Combine the tuna, egg whites, grana, the zest of the lemon and the drained anchovy fillets and whiz in a food processor until you get a uniform paste. Mix in the whole capers.
  3. Soak a sheet of grease proof paper in water for a couple of minutes and lay it flat on the work surface.
  4. Place the tuna mix onto the centre of the paper and form into a thick sausage shape. It help if you do this with wet hands.

  5. Roll up the paper and twist the ends to form a ‘Christmas cracker’ shape. Tie the ends with kitchen string.

    Tuna loaf ready to cook

    Tuna loaf ready to cook

    Poach the roll in just boiling water for 45 minutes. Remove from the water and allow to cool. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

  6. When ready to serve, unwrap the loaf and cut into 1-2 cm rounds.
  7. Make a dressing by mixing the olive oil, the juice from the lemon, chopped basil leaves and a pinch of salt.
  8. Serve with green salad leaves (rocket, lambs lettuce etc. anything you fancy)
Tuna loaf

Tuna loaf

Fried courgette flowers

Fiori di zucca fritti. Courgette flowers are just starting to become available in markets in the UK, however, I wouldn’t attempt this dish unless you can get them really fresh. If you grow your own courgettes, you’re laughing . I am growing them in pots on my balcony this year so this recipe will get a lot of use.

Flower on the plant

Flower on the plant

To trim, if they are male flowers they will have a straight stalk, trim the ends if needed, gently open up the flower and pinch out the stamens.  If they are female flowers they will have a courgette attached. If it is a baby, cut it into 4, but leave it attached to the flower, otherwise detach the flower. Serves 4

Courgette flowers

Courgette flowers

  • 12 courgette flowers, trimmed

For the batter

  • 350g 00 flour
  • 400 ml cold water
  • A large pinch of salt

Mix together the flour, water and salt. Add enough water to get a consistency of single cream. Leave to rest for an hour or so.

Fried cougette flowers batter

Fried cougette flowers batter

Dip the flowers in the batter and deep fry until they are lightly brown

Fried courgette flowers frying

Fried courgette flowers frying

Drain on kitchen paper, season with salt and serve immediately.

Fried courgette flowers finished dish

Fried courgette flowers finished dish