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posted: 9/28/2011 6:00 AM

Fish & Fruity Cuban Sofrito Gnocchi with Tuna Meatballs and Mango Sauce

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  • Fish & Fruity Cuban Sofrito Gnocchi with Tuna Meatballs and Mango Sauce from Antonio De Pau of Palatine.

       Fish & Fruity Cuban Sofrito Gnocchi with Tuna Meatballs and Mango Sauce from Antonio De Pau of Palatine.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer


Tuna Meatballs

1 tube (8-count) refrigerator biscuits

3 cans (5 ounces each) tuna, well-drained

2 eggs

2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

Grated peel of 1 lemon or 2 limes

teaspoon lemon pepper

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

Mango Sauce

1 lime, juiced

1 mango (about 240 grams) peeled and cut in cubes)

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root

medium onion (chopped)

fresh chopped jalepeno (use for less kick, more for more kick)

1 clove garlic, chopped

a cinnamon stick

cup sugar

teaspoon dry mustard

Salt to taste

Sofrito gnocchi

1 pound fresh gnocchi

12 ounces Old Havana Foods Sofrito

pound cherry tomatoes, halved

1 red or yellow or orange pepper (chopped in small square pieces)

1 clove garlic

Olive oil

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the biscuits according to directions. When cool, grind into bread crumbs; set aside.

Put the drained tuna in a large bowl; mix with enough bread crumbs that the mixture sticks together. Add the eggs, parsley, grated citrus peel and lemon pepper. Mix until a workable consistency that can be easily formed into balls. (If the mixture is too soft, add more bread crumbs, if too thick add a couple tablespoons of white wine or another egg). Roll mixture into golfball-sized balls, flatten with palm so they are not round (this helps the cooking process).

Put inch of oil into a frying pan and cook tuna balls on each side until golden brown.

For the sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in a saucepan, cook until boiling, lower the heat and cook on a low flame until sauce is thick but still liquid.

For the gnocchi: Prepare the gnocchi according to package directions. While the gnocchi cook, in a separate fry pan, stir fry garlic until brown, add cherry tomatoes (cut in half), cook for 5 minutes, add the peppers, mix and remove from heat.

When cooked, drain the gnocchi, return it to the pan it was cooked in, pour the sofrito over the gnocchi and stir to coat, then put the gnocchi into the pan with the tomatoes and peppers, mix and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve with a side salad of Radicchio & Mango tossed with a vinaigrette.

Serves four.

Cook's note: The tuna meat balls and sauce can be prepared the day before and warmed before serving.

Antonio De Pau, Palatine

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