I found this meatball recipe a couple of years ago and it’s so so good. I served them the first time with cous cous & tzatziki for dipping and they were a huge crowd pleaser, but I lightened it up this go around with an almond/garlic/white wine sauce and a bed of baby greens. The original recipe calls for lamb and a lot of mint, so I’ve altered a little bit to my tastes, but they still exude a Moroccan feel with cumin, cinnamon and mint. The spices create a slightly smokey and warming flavor profile while the mint and parsley add a fresh spark.
This almond sauce is a little more Spanish inspired – it has fresh ground almonds, garlic, more parsley and white wine, yum! I thought the sauce and meatballs were even better a day later after all the flavors were able to come together. I still love them with the tzatziki, but either route, you end up with flavors of the Mediterranean (one a little more eastern and one a little more western) that are so right for each other.
Moroccan Inspired Meatballs*
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 small red onion, chopped very finely
- 1/2 lb beef
- 1/2 lb pork
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2-1 cup loosely packed mint, finely chopped
- 2-4 tbsp bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- salt (~1 tsp) and pepper to taste
Warm oil in saute pan and cook onion till very soft, add garlic at very end. Let cool. In a separate bowl add all ingredients including onions and garlic. Thoroughly mix all ingredients with hands, making sure all ingredients are well-distributed. Start with 2 tbsp breadcrumbs, add more if the mixture is too wet. Add 1/2-1 cup mint depending on your taste preference.
Heat oven to 350. Form meatballs ~12 larger meatballs or ~24 smaller meatballs for a group, and place on rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on size, until cooked through.
Meanwhile prepare almond sauce and warm through meatballs in sauce before serving.