Sicilian Tuna MeatballsI appreciate fresh tuna -- raw sushi is definitely the highest honor for this delicious fish. Cook it and you can easily ruin it. I was persuaded, however, to try Hank Shaw’s “Sicilian Tuna Meatballs,” with his inclusion of pistachios, mint, and lemon zest. Lucky for me, Hank is a fisherman and knows what he’s doing.

While I wouldn’t combine regular meatballs in my food processor, this recipe mixes the fish in it, and that was an easy temptation. I did form 21 balls with this mix. Frying was simple. Surprisingly, these tuna balls were very hearty, tasting bold with their lemon, mint and pistachios.

Hank suggested stewing the tuna balls in a tomato sauce, so here’s where I went: Marcella Hazan’s “Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter.” This is the recipe that always elicits a hush of respect and reverence -- and it’s so darn simple. It needs butter and it needs time. It’s uncomplicated and rewarding. “Unsurpassed,” indeed.

Bacon-Wrapped Enoki MushroomsTo veer completely off course, I turned my oven up to 400 degrees F for the “Bacon-Wrapped Enoki Mushrooms,” from Noob Cook. I mean, look at these.

I doubled the amounts in this recipe to use 14 oz. bacon and 7 oz. enokis.

Enoki mushrooms are adorable and hard to resist when I see them so fresh and beautiful. Add to that the allure of “streaky bacon.” I baked these wrapped bundles for 30 minutes, turning them twice. All of my dreams came true: the umami of mushrooms + bacon = a powerhouse of flavor. These are as fun as they look.

Tuna (1 1/2 lbs.) = $35.40
Lemon (1) = .52¢
Canned Whole Peeled Tomatoes (28 oz.) = $2.32
Onion (1) = .49¢
Enoki Mushrooms (7 oz.) = $2.48

PREP TIMES: tomato sauce simmers for 45 minutes; tuna balls stew for 30 minutes; mushroom bundles bake for 30 minutes
lemony, minty tuna balls stew in a luscious tomato sauce; mushrooms and bacon become rich together in the oven

Next time, I’m ready for a stunt involving chia seeds. I want to make the “Black Bean & Quinoa Loaf,” from The Lovin’ Forkful. Come back to my site next week, to see how this turns out.