Albondigas (Savoury Meatballs)

By | January 29, 2011

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Moorish in origin, these fragrantly spiced meatballs are tossed in a paprika-flavoured tomato sauce to make another well-loved tapas bar favourite.


300g minced pork (makes about thirty)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
50g dried white breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon mild paprika (pimenton dulce)
100g fresh or frozen peas

Put the minced meat, garlic, breadcrumbs, spices and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl and, using your fingers, mix together until the mixture is well combined. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour to allow the flavours to develop.

Meanwhile make the sauce, heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and garlic and cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, sugar and pimenton and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes. Add the peas, season to taste with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Take walnut sizes pieces of the minced meat mixture and shape into balls. Heat half the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the balls and cook over a medium heat, stirring ,for2-3 minutes until browned all over. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Add the meatballs to the sauce over a medium heat, stir to coat evenly, then simmer gently for 5-6 minutes. Serve hot.

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