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Saffron Fish Balls in Tomato Sauce

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Serves: 4

500g / 1 lb 2 oz boneless white fish fillets
1 egg
2 spring onions, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
55g / 2 oz fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground saffron threads

For the Tomato sauce
400g / 14 oz tin chopped tomatoes
1 onion, coarsely grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon harissa or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sugar


Cut the fish fillets into rough pieces and put in a food processor, along with the egg, spring onion, parsley, coriander and breadcrumbs. Mix the saffron with 1 tablespoon warm water and add to the other ingredients with 3/4 teaspoon salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Process to a thick paste, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally.

With moistened hands. shape the fish mixture into balls the size of a walnut. Put on a tray. cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

Put the onion and olive oil in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, harissa or cayenne pepper and cumin. Stir for a few seconds, then add the chopped tomato, sugar, 250ml / 9 fl oz water and salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Bring to the boil. cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Add the fish balls to the tomato sauce, shaking the pan occasionally as they are added so that they settle into the sauce. Return to a gentle boil over medium heat. cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve the fish balls hot with crusty bread.

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