Polpette di Tonno Tuna Cakes

We have been enjoying crab cakes for quite a while now, thanks to our New England friends. In the Veneto region of Italy polpette di tonno, or tuna cakes, have been around forever, but are sadly so undiscovered in the United States. Polpette di tonno are delicious, simple to make, and leftovers are especially tasty.  They would commonly be  found in a Venetian wine bar as a "cicchetto" or  appetizer along with a glass of white wine. They can also be served as a main course. I like to put them on a nice bed of  arrugala, nothing else needed. (Except your favorite white wine.) Nothing could be simpler or more satisfying.
Ingredients (for about 6-8 polpette):
2  5oz. cans tuna in olive oil
3 pieces of white sliced bread (like Wonder bread)
1/4 cup flat leaf parlsely, finely chopped
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs
oil for frying
salt to taste
Drain the oil from the 2 cans of tuna, and put the tuna in a mixing bowl.  Remove the crust from 3 pieces of white sandwich type bread, and moisten it slightly with milk or water. tear the bread into little pieces, and put it in the mixing bowl. Next add the parsley and the egg. At this point get your oil hot and ready in a fryer.
With your hands, combine the above ingredients until they make one homogenous mixture. Form the tuna into 6-8 balls, depending on the size you desire, then flatten them slightly into a patty shape. Coat the tuna cakes generously with the bread crumbs, and set aside until ready to fry.
Once all the polpette have been formed, begin frying them a few at a time, for about 2 minutes. When they have a nice golden brown color, remove from oil and  salt lighlty with sea salt. Put them on a paper towel lined baking dish until ready to serve.
I think they are nice served on a plate on a bed of arugula. Pour yourself a nicely chilled glass of your favorite white wine. I love to eat them hot, but they are also good room temperature. Leftovers are delicious as well the next day. Enjoy!!!


  1. I was so pleased to have found a recipe like this one. I just made something similar with salmon and potatoes...hopefully soon to be shared on a post in my cooking journal.
    BTW...thanks for leaving me a comment on BlogCatalog. I rather visit you on your food blog. I will later put a comment there too ;o)
    Nice to have discovered your foodie blog.
    Flavourful wishes,

  2. I spent a lot of time in the Veneto last summer and never found a recipe like this. I will try it, I wonder how fresh tuna would work!!!


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