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Tuna Meatballs in Bouillabaise Broth

Serves 6-8
Brian Streeter
Pairs well with:
Chardonnay, Napa Valley

Chef Brian Streeter's recipe for these lush Tuna Meatballs are the perfect complement to Cakebread Cellars' Napa Valley Chardonnay. The tuna matches the intensity and body of the our Chardonnay, while the flavors of saffron, fennel, tomato, and white wine in the bouillabaisse broth complement the bright lemon and fresh fruit flavors of the wine.


1 c. fresh breadcrumbs
½ c. milk
1 ½ lbs. yellowfin tuna, diced
2 oz. pancetta, minced
1 large egg
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. flat leaf parsley, chopped
Pinch fennel pollen(optional)
salt and pepper

1 small onion, sliced thin
1 bulb fennel, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, slivered
3 T. olive oil
1 ½ c. peeled plum tomatoes, crushed
½ c. white wine
Pinch saffron
Pinch espelette pepper or cayenne
4 c. fish stock or clam broth
1 bay leaf
2 thyme sprigs

16 manila or littleneck clams
24 mussels, scrubbed
2 oz. Spanish chorizo, sliced thin
1 lb. fregola pasta (Sardinian pasta), cooked
3 T. flat leaf parsley, chopped

Tuna Meatballs:

Soak the breadcrumbs in milk to soften for 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze off the milk. Dice the tuna into one-inch pieces and place in the work bowl of a food processor. Add the pancetta, egg, garlic, parsley, fennel pollen, salt and pepper. Pulse in the processor to chop the tuna into small pieces and to evenly distribute the ingredients. Be careful not to over process. Portion into about 20 pieces. Rub olive oil on the palms of your hands and roll into round balls. Set aside on a sheet pan.

Bouillabaise Broth:

To make the broth, heat a wide bottom pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion, fennel and garlic until soft. Add the tomato and white wine to the pan. Bring to a simmer. Add the saffron and espelette pepper. Cook for 5 minutes to reduce. Add the fish stock, bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Slowly simmer for 30 minutes and pass through a food mill.

Clean the clams and mussels. Discard any that are open. Cover with cold water and soak for 15 minutes to rid them of sand. Drain and set aside.

To Serve:

To serve, heat wide bottom pan over high heat. Add the remaining olive oil and sear the meatballs on two sides. Add the broth, the clams and mussels to the pan. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes until clams and mussels are open and meatballs are cooked through. Place the cooked fregola pasta into the bottom of 6 warm bowls. Ladle the broth into the bowls with two to three meatballs and garnish with the clams and mussels, Spanish chorizo and chopped parsley.

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