Polpettone di Tonno with Horseradish Green Sauce

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No, that’s not gefilte fish. And that’s exactly what I love about it. Let me introduce you to my version of Polpettone di Tonno, Italian tuna loaf. It plays the “gefilte fish” role of festive holiday fish appetizer, but with more nuanced and fresher flavor. I shared the recipe and wrote the accompanying article, “Giving Gefilte Fish (and Guilt) the Boot,” for Jewish Food Experience, and was honored to have my Polpettone di Tonno featured as one of JFE’s Top 10 Recipes for Rosh Hashanah 2017. Please visit JFE to see the article and recipe together, and be sure to check out the whole list of other great recipes that will work for your table any time of year!

Here are a few quick tips for this recipe:

Canned tuna (ideally an “Italian-style tonno”) works perfectly. I prefer the loaf to have a little texture rather than be a more homogeneous mass, so I chop the tuna and artichokes by hand. You do still need to get the chunks small though, as bigger pieces in the loaf will make more fragile and crumbly. If you prefer it to be smooth or don’t feel like chopping, feel free to use your food processor, of course.

Use only the tender part of the artichoke hearts. Tough leaves will not blend in well with the loaf. Reserve the rest of the artichokes for salads, pizzas, and pastas.

Once you shape the mixture into a tight loaf, start rolling at one end of the cheesecloth to make sure your create a snug wrap. This will help ensure the loaf cooks up intact and stays together when you unwrap it later.

Use a little kitchen twine to tightly tie off the ends. Then just be sure to support the loaf from the bottom (using two large spatulas works well) when you lower and lift it. The goal is to avoid breaking it or creating weak spots.

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