Spanish Meatball Subs with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

These meatball sandwiches are made with flavors inspired by Spanish cuisine. We seasoned the meatballs themselves with both sweet and smoked paprika, cumin and sherry vinegar. For the finished sandwiches we added onions sautéed with green olives, roasted red pepper sauce and melted Manchego cheese, then served them alongside Paprika-Dusted Potato Wedges (recipe follows).

Spanish Meatball Subs with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
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  • Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons panko crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped
  • 4 (6-inch) sub rolls
  • 1 cup Manchego cheese, grated
  • For the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:
  • 1 jar (12-ounce) roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Gently combine the beef, egg, panko crumbs, mayonnaise, sherry vinegar, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a large bowl. Form into 12 meatballs and arrange them in a single layer in a baking dish. Bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep warm.

While the meatballs bake, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, then add the olives, reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the onions are light golden in color, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To make the sauce, place the red peppers, garlic, olive oil, sherry vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth and well blended.

To assemble the sandwiches, slice rolls lengthwise and layer a portion of the onion-olive mixture in each. Add 3 meatballs to each sandwich, top with a spoonful of the red pepper sauce and a portion of cheese.

Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and place in the oven until the cheese melts, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Makes 4 servings

Paprika-Dusted Potato Wedges:
Thoroughly scrub 3 or 4 baking potatoes and slice lengthwise into 8 to 12 wedges each. Place in a large bowl, drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt, pepper, paprika and cumin. Bake in a 400°F oven until golden brown and crispy, 20 to 30 minutes.

Makes 4 servings

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