Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
- 3⁄4 cup bread cubes (from stale baguette)
- 1⁄2 cup whole milk
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 1⁄2 lbs tuna, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 ounces pancetta, finely diced (1/4 cup)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 4 cups tomato sauce
- 1 lb spaghetti
- Soak bread in milk in small bowl for 30 minutes. Place work bowl and blade of food processor in freezer.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in medium pan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir occasionally until translucent, about 3 minutes. Set pan aside to cool.
- Squeeze bread to remove excess milk, put in chilled food processor bowl with tuna and pancetta. Pulse until just coarsely ground and combined. Refrigerate briefly. Add garlic and its oil, 2 tablespoons water, egg, parsley and red-pepper flakes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grindings of pepper. Lightly but thoroughly mix with hands.
- Make a small meatball and sauté in a bit of oil over medium-high heat to taste for seasoning. Adjusting seasonings if necessary.
- Heat sauce in a 6-quart pot over low heat.
- With moistened hands, form 20 meatballs, each about 1 3/4 inch in diameter (about 1 1/2 ounces). Heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in pan on medium high until hot but not smoking. Cook meatballs in batches until well browned all around, 6 to 8 minutes. When done, transfer to sauce with slotted spoon. When all the meatballs are in sauce, partially cover pot and gently simmer for 1 hour, stirring carefully occasionally.
- Bring large pot of salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti until almost al dente. Drain and serve in bowl with sauce and meatballs spooned over.