I made albondigas, which, according to my recipe, are meatballs in a garlic-tomato sauce. The recipe is actually for appetizer/tapas-type meatballs, but I ended up making them to put over pasta. Z and I did make these once for appetizers when we had a small party a few years ago, but they also worked very well over pasta. If you should make them for a party, you can make them early and then keep them warm/heat them up in a small crock pot to save last-minute rushing on food prep).
The recipe starts with making the meatballs and pan frying them in a heavy skillet (I used the lovely cast iron one you see below)
The cooking of the meatballs is then finished in the sauce. (eeek! passive voice alert).
While normally, you'd serve them tapas style with toothpicks, I served mine over pasta.
This weekend, a group of us went to a local wine and tapas place that had albondigas on the menu. Theirs had jalepeño peppers in them as well, and were served in a marsala sauce, which I found to be a very tasty variation.
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large bell pepper, finely chopped
2 lbs ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
2/3 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp cilantro
For the sauce:
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can (33 oz) diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
- Cook onion and pepper in olive oil until soft, let cool
- Combine onions/peppers, ground meat, bread crumbs, salt, nutmeg, & cilantro
- Make small meatball (1 - 1-1/2 inch diameter)
- Pan fry in olive oil in a pre-heated skillet. Remove when browned.
- For the sauce, briefly saute garlic in olive oil
- Add remaining ingredients, including meatballs and bring to a simmer
- Simmer for 30-minutes, or until meatballs are done and sauce has thickened.
- Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.