Makes 6 Servings
2 pounds Russet potatoes
2 (6 or 7-ounce) cans Italian tuna packed in olive oil
1 cup fresh ricotta, drained in a sieve lined with cheesecloth for an hour
1 bunch marjoram, leaves only
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs, separated
3 cups extra-virgin olive oil, for deep-frying
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon lemon zest
In a large pot, bring 8 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until easily pierced with the point of a paring knife, about 25 minutes; drain.
Peel the potatoes and, while they are still warm, pass through a food mill into a large bowl. Immediately add the tuna, ricotta, marjoram, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the egg yolks and mix well to combine. Using tablespoons, or your moistened hands, form the mixture into golf ball-sized balls and set on a baking sheet.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 370 degrees F.
Meanwhile, place the flour in a shallow bowl. Lightly beat the egg whites in another bowl. Put the breadcrumbs and parsley in a third bowl. Working in batches, dredge the tuna balls in the flour, then dip in the egg whites, letting the excess run off, and dredge in the breadcrumbs.
Carefully drop the balls into the hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with lemon zest.
Recipe courtesy of Molto Italiano (Ecco 2005)