Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Albondigas (Meatballs)

Albondigas (al-bun-dee-gus) Meatballs
Traditionally these are served inside of Cuban Bread or on top of rice, the sauce is the traditional tomato sauce as I did for the picadillo dish, but my family doesn’t really like them in that sauce and I wanted to incorporate the meatball recipe into a pasta dish. So I removed a few items, added some and came up with the sauce to compliment the flavors of the meatballs the only switches to the traditional meatball are the basil leaves, ground basil and oregano. The original is garlic powder, onion powder, ground bay leaves the rest would be exactly the same. Either choice of ingredients and you come up with a great dish.

The Meatballs:
1 ½ pounds of lean ground beef (turkey or chicken can be substituted)
1 tablespoon each of ground basil, parsley and oregano
3 cloves of garlic minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon of ground Cumin
½ teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons all purpose flour

10 fresh Basil leaves chopped
1 egg
7 kalamata olives minced

Take the ground beef and add all the dry ingredients except for the flour and mix. Add the egg, basil leaves and olives ( take these and put them in my mini chop and beat them ) mix again, and then sprinkle the flour on and lightly mix so that all the mixture is incorporated. The mixture will be soft and the meatballs a bit sticky but they will be juicy and taste great. Most meatball recipes add breadcrumbs, my grandma never did so I don't, I have tried it and found that they get hard and dry with it so that's the reason for the flour. Form meatball about 1 1/4” diameter (I eyeball them so that you could fit a whole one in your mouth, I guess appetizer size)
In a large skillet pour some olive oil and brown the meatballs on all sides carefully handling them, after they're brown drain them and start the sauce.

The Sauce:
1 small green pepper chopped
1 small red pepper chopped
1 small yellow pepper chopped
1 small onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 12oz can of Chopped Tomatoes (I had the basil and oregano flavored can so I used that)
1 tablespoon each of ground basil, parsley and oregano
1 16oz can of Hunt’s Traditional Spaghetti Sauce
1 16oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce, I used Barilla Roasted Peppers
½ teaspoon of sugar
1 cup of white wine (I drink Riesling so that’s what I used)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Grated Parmesan Cheese and Mozzarella to taste
In a deep pan sauté the peppers, garlic and onion in the olive oil once they are soft add the can of tomatoes, once incorporated add the two sauces sugar and wine. Let it simmer for about 10 mins. Then gently add the meatballs and push them into the sauce once they're all in there, let it all simmer on the stove for 40 mins carefully stirring them a few times.

Make pasta according to the box instructions, drain and plate, scoop some of the sauce and meatballs on top, add the cheeses and enjoy - your tummy will thank you for the effort.


Life Looms Large said...

Looks delicious!!!

Good job photographing food....I find that extremely difficult for some reason!



Sometime I do too, it take some fiddling with the negative light,and F stops, and the settings. Sometime I forget like in the last shot, but eh, it works LOL..

Benita said...

That looks so good I swear I can smell it from here! Mmmm... Meatballs!!

Cindy said...

Looks yummy!