Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spanish Meatballs (Albondigas) in Tomato Sauce

Our first night in Pebble Beach we went to dinner at a tapas restaurant and the food was so amazing and delicious that I decided to try making some at home. Now I'd never made tapas before but I'm a big fan of watching Spanish-oriented cooking shows and I had a vague idea of what I'd like to make. Albondigas was top of the list. There's a Mexican soup of the same name but I was looking for light meatballs in a tomato sauce - the Spanish tapas version.

I read over several recipes and sort of merged them together to make this one. All the recipes called for egg which I left out (due to allergies). They were delicious! I will definitely be making them again. The amount made would feed 4 adults tapas style.


1 lb. ground beef mince
1/2 onion
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
2 slices stale bread
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper
olive oil


Assemble the meatballs:
  • Crush 2 cloves of garlic with the parsley and mix with a dash of white wine. Place this mixture in a large bowl with the ground beef, mix well and let stand for 20 minutes.
  • Place the bread in a shallow dish and cover with the milk. Let soak for a few minutes.
  • Add the bread, salt and pepper to the beef mixture and knead until all the ingredients are mixed together.
  • Make small balls and roll each one in flour. Cook in plenty of hot oil until they turn golden brown, drain and place in a casserole dish.
Make the sauce:

  • Add a little oil to the pan you used to saute the meatballs. Add the onion and garlic and gently fry until they begin to brown.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and about half a cup of white wine (drink the other half).
  • Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes then puree (or leave whole if you prefer a chunky sauce)
  • Pour the sauce over the meatballs and then place in a 375 degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes.
  • Serve with fresh bread to dip in the sauce (we used grilled pizza dough)

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