Albondigas with a sunny Mediterranean sauce

    1 hour 40 min

    Moreish Spanish meatballs are simmered in a gorgeous sauce. The sunshine just shines on and on. A delight to the taste buds.

    16 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • Albondigas
    • 300g minced beef
    • 150g minced pork
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
    • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    • Worcestershire sauce, to taste
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 100g fresh white breadcrumbs
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil - for frying
    • Sauce
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 100g pancetta (or unsmoked streaky bacon), chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped carrot
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 250ml white wine
    • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
    • 2 (400g) tins Italian plum tomatoes, chopped

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:1hr20min  ›  Ready in:1hr40min 

    1. Mix beef, pork, spring onion, oregano, parsley, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and black pepper together in a bowl. Slowly add and mix breadcrumbs into meat mixture to desired consistency. Form mixture into balls, roll them in remaining breadcrumbs to coat, and arrange onto a shallow tray. Cover meatballs with cling film and chill at least 30 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook and stir pancetta in the hot oil until browned, about 4 minutes. Add onion and garlic to the pancetta; continue to cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir carrot, celery and red pepper into the pancetta mixture; cook until the carrot softens slightly, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle basil, oregano, coriander and black pepper over pancetta mixture; stir to season evenly.
    3. Pour wine over the pancetta mixture. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid reduces by about half.
    4. Quickly stir tomato puree into pancetta mixture; add chopped tomatoes. Cook and stir the mixture until the tomatoes begin to break down into a sauce, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce thickens, 60 to 90 minutes.
    5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan over low heat. Cook and stir meatballs in batches in hot oil until evenly browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes; drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
    6. Add meatballs to the sauce and continue to cook slowly for some 10 minutes or so until all heated through and ready to serve.

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    Reviews & ratings
    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (10)


    Enjoyed it. Very substantial sauce, but good.  -  10 Jun 2016


    I've had Spanish meatballs before and really liked them so I was anxious to try these. I considered a prior reviewer's comment that they were a bit salty so I decided to leave out the added salt entirely. Rather than frying the meatballs in batches, I simply baked them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Finally, I just dropped the meatballs into the sauce and simmered everything together for 45 minutes. This was excellent. I would suggest cutting the amount of pancetta in half, however, because it was still a little salty; the only thing that marred an otherwise tasty treat. We served this with Awesome Rice Pilaf and Swiss Chard Sauteed with Lime, both recipes from this site as well. The combination of the three made for a memorable meal.  -  07 Jan 2013  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Hi, recently, Summerpls gave me a great review. I thank her greatly. re the recipe but said too much salt. However, I was confused.!! Salt in the meatballs is to personal taste and per se, there is no salt used in the sauce. So, "que pasa", what happened. 1.---- Bacon/pancetta contains salt in varying degrees. This could affect the flavour depening on bacon used. Some bacon can be extremely salty. Pancetta is not!!!!. 2. ... In cooking the sauce for intensity, which I thought fine, I have discovered that in intensifying, it can give a salt like taste, not salt but intense flavour. I added a touch, to taste, of sugar and mixed well. Problem solved. Turned out great. Possible solution to a, for me, complexing problem. Hope helps any other brave soul trying the recipe. cheers.  -  19 Nov 2012  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)