Monday, January 26, 2009

Lamb meatballs with romesco sauce

A traditional tapas favourite, meatballs (or albondigas) taste superb with a sweet sauce made from bread, almonds and red capsicum.

Preparation Time 10 minutes
Cooking Time 20 minutes

Ingredients (serves 10)
* 650g Woolworths organic lamb mince
* 25g (1/4 cup) dried (packaged) breadcrumbs
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 1 garlic clove, crushed
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Romesco sauce
* 60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
* 20g blanched almonds
* 1 slice bread, torn into pieces
* 2 vine-ripened tomatoes
* 2 (about 130g) slices chargrilled capsicum, coarsely chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, crushed
* 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
* Pinch of cayenne pepper
* 3 tsp dry sherry

1. Combine the lamb, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Divide the mixture into 24 portions. Use wet hands to roll each portion into a ball and place on a plate. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.
2. Meanwhile, to make the romesco sauce, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the almonds to a plate lined with paper towel. Add the bread to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until golden. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool.
3. Meanwhile, use a small knife to cut a cross in the base of each tomato. Place the tomatoes in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate. Remove skin and discard. Coarsely chop.
4. Place the almonds, bread, tomato, capsicum, garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper and sherry in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl.
5. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add one-third of the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat, in 2 more batches, with the remaining meatballs, reheating the pan between batches.
6. Place the meatballs in a serving dish. Serve hot or at room temperature with the romesco sauce.

Notes & tips
* You can prepare this recipe to the end of step 4 up to 1 day ahead. Store the meatballs and the romesco sauce in separate airtight containers in the fridge. Continue from step 5 up to 1 hour ahead.

Australian Good Taste - Page 83
Recipe by Abi Ulgiati


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