Margarita's International Recipes


Albóndigas con Picada de Almendra
(Meatballs in an Almond Sauce)

Mike and I had tried several different tapas during our trip to Spain some years ago. The only one I well remembered, however, was a dish of meatballs on a thick sauce that I absolutely loved. I was thus very excited to find a recipe for an Andalusian dish that seemed to resemble the one we'd tried (though I was pretty sure we'd had it in the Basque country, not in Andalusia). Sure enough, it was the exact same dish. Meatballs

Meatballs are very commonly served in Andalusia - something not surprising given the Arab influence in the region. This recipe, however, is typically Spanish. It's a little bit more complicated than your regular meatball recipe, but my guests (and I!) enjoyed it very much and I would make it again. I think it would also work great as an appetizer, perhaps served with a light salad.

I made the recipe with very few modifications. I did, however, use ground beef instead of the ground veal it asked for. In the United States, calves are kept in extremely inhumane conditions, they are taken as newborns from their mothers and kept chained in small crates until they are taken to the slaughterhouse. I therefore believe it's unethical to eat veal, and substitute with beef whenever the recipe calls for it. I'd urge you to do the same. The recipe also called for "skinned, seeded" tomatoes. I was not up to that much work, so I didn't skin them or seeded them. It worked fine, though if you'd like you can skin them and seed them. Similarly, the recipe called for blanched almonds - I didn't bother blanching them but you can. Finally, the recipe called for peas which I skipped because I don't like them.

Albóndigas con Picada de Almendra


For the Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. minced prosciutto
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 egg white.

  • Flour for dusting

    For the Sauce

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp. tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. parsley, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • a few strands of saffron, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp. almonds, chopped.
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika.
  • 2 tbsp. fresh or frozen peas.

    Make the meatballs by soaking the bread crumbs in the chicken broth. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Shape into 1 1/2" balls. Dust each meatball with flour.

    On a heavy saucepan heat olive oil to medium-high. Brown meatballs on each side. Lower the heat and add onion. Cook until golden, add tomato and cook for one minute. Stir in the wine, broth and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, combine parsley, garlic, 1/8 tsp. salt, saffron, almonds and paprika in a blender or mini-food processor. Mash into a paste. Add this mixture along with the peas (if you are using them) to the meatballs and cook for 15 more minutes. Serve hot.

    Adapted from Delicioso

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