by Mario Batali

Tuna and Ricotta Fritters Recipe
Tuna and Ricotta Fritters Recipe

This month, my family and I traveled to one of our favorite island escapes: the sweet little paradise known as St. John. The water sparkles and the sand warms your toes while the cocktails warm your stomach. Better yet is the fresh catch of the day. Tuna, grouper and lobster are just a few varieties of local seafood abundant in the British Virgin Islands. In the spirit of the Caribbean -- and of the Batali clan's happy place -- I'm frying up some fish with an Italian twist: Tuna and Ricotta Fritters.

This recipe is great for the kitchen novice because it involves the most basic technique in cooking. The rule for breading before frying is an essential one I use time and time again. "The Chew" viewers have heard me refer to it as "FEB" (meaning flour, egg, breadcrumbs). Simply dredge in that order, then hit the heat.

Place flour in a shallow bowl, lightly beat egg whites in another bowl, and finally put the breadcrumbs in a third bowl. In this case, I add parsley into my breadcrumbs, but regardless of the added ingredient, the order in which to dredge remains tried and true. Working in batches, dredge the tuna balls in the flour, then dip in the egg whites, letting the excess run off, and dredge in the breadcrumbs. It's as simple as FEB!

I'm not the biggest advocate of combining seafood and fruit, with the exception of an acidic citrus. So when I serve these fritters as more than just an antipasto, I accompany them with a fresh beet or tomato salad served raw with a simple dressing. Make my Tuna and Ricotta Fritters in the middle of this harsh winter and you'll be transported to warm weather bliss. A hint of Bob Marley on the side is highly recommended.

Tuna and Ricotta Fritters

Polpette di Tonno e Ricotta

Once you have fried these and they have cooled, you could reheat them in a light, simple tomato sauce and serve them with a little spaghetti -- kind of like a tuna meatball.

Excerpted from "Molto Italiano" (Ecco, 2005)

Makes 6 servings.

2 pounds Russet potatoes

Two (6- to 7-ounce) cans Italian tuna packed in olive oil

1 cup fresh ricotta, drained in a sieve lined with cheesecloth for an hour

1 bunch marjoram, leaves only

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 large eggs, separated

3 cups extra-virgin olive oil, for deep-frying

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

1 tablespoon lemon zest

In a large pot, bring 8 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until easily pierced with the point of a paring knife, about 25 minutes; drain.

Peel the potatoes and, while they are still warm, pass through a food mill into a large bowl. Immediately add the tuna, ricotta, marjoram, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the egg yolks and mix well to combine. Using tablespoons, or your moistened hands, form the mixture into golf ball-sized balls and set on a baking sheet.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 370 F. Meanwhile, place the flour in a shallow bowl. Lightly beat the egg whites in another bowl. Put the breadcrumbs and parsley in a third bowl. Working in batches, dredge the tuna balls in the flour, then dip in the egg whites, letting the excess run off, and dredge in the breadcrumbs. Carefully drop the balls into the hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with lemon zest. Serve hot.

Seafood Fritters Recipe, Italian Cuisine


Subscribe to Receive our Gourmet Recipes


Article: Copyright © Tribune Content Agency

"Tuna and Ricotta Fritters"

World-renowned chefs with an extraordinary passion for food share their passion on These chefs make great cooking easier than imagined. Each gourmet recipe features expert advice and an easy-to-make recipe. Exactly what you need to transform your home cooking from acceptable to delectable