Moroccan Style Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
These tender lamb meatballs are flavored with a Moroccan-inspired blend of spices and herbs and topped with a simple tomato sauce. Fragrant and full of flavor, they make a nice change from traditional spaghetti and meatballs. They can also be made half-sized and served as an appetizer, using the tomato sauce for dipping.
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons panko crumbs
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- For the tomato sauce:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine the lamb, egg, garlic, panko crumbs, mint, parsley, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Form into meatballs about 1-1/2-inches in diameter. Heat the olive oil in large pan and add the meatballs. Cook until browned on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes, turning several times. Remove the meatballs from the pan and wipe out any excess fat.
To make the sauce, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes. Add the cinnamon and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the meatballs to the pan and turn several times to coat them with the sauce. Cover and cook an additional 6 or 7 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
Makes 4 generous servings (about 12 meatballs)
Serve with steamed basmati rice that has been tossed with a little butter, a squeeze of lemon juice and a handful of chopped fresh mint. Our Carrot Salad with Apricots and Cinnamon makes a colorful, tasty accompaniment too. Pair with a hearty red wine like Rioja or Shiraz.