I once had a friend who always confused the Spanish words albondiga and abogado. For those who don’t “habla espanol” the words mean, respectively, meatball and lawyer. Some folks assert that there’s really no difference between the two, and yes, that’s a joke.
I was reminded of my friend and her trouble telling lawyers from meatballs — let’s hope she never has problems with the law — when I came across this delicious-looking recipe on Facebook:
Oh, yes. I get hungry just looking at this. As soon as I saw it, I said, “That’s going on the menu for next week”, and I thought I’d saved the post to my timeline. Nope. Of course, recipes for albondigas are easy enough to find. But I didn’t want just any recipe. I wanted the one I’d seen. So, I’ve spent a good part of my morning scrolling back through lots of Facebook posts. Finally, I found it.
For the Meatballs:
2 eggs, beaten
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound uncooked, ground chorizo sausage
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup cooked rice (I used brown basmati)
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with juice
4 small zucchini, diced
2 cups cooked pinto beans, or 1 14½-ounce can pinto beans, drained
½ to 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- To make the meatballs, add all ingredients (eggs through pepper) to a medium bowl and mix with your hands until combined. (Don’t overmix or your meatballs will be tough!)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
- With a 1 tablespoon scoop or standard tablespoon, scoop out meatball mixture on to a baking sheet – into ragged little mounds that are close to the same size. Now pick up one mound and gently roll it into a ball between your palms. Repeat with remaining mounds, arranging the meatballs very close together, but not touching.
- Bake 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion and a pinch of salt; cook and stir until onion is translucent. Add cumin, oregano and tomatoes; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add zucchini and pinto beans; cook 5 to 10 minutes more, to desired doneness. Remove from heat.
- When meatballs are cooked through, remove from oven and, with a slotted spoon transfer cooked meatballs to sauce. Gently stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and, if necessary, reheat over medium-low heat.
- Serve alone or over rice, beans or pasta.
The recipe title is actually Spanish Meatballs with Pintos, Zucchini, and Tomatoes, and you can find the recipe here at Pinch and Swirl along with many others. If you enjoy good food, you’ll enjoy the Pinch and Swirl blog
Now, I’m really looking forward to making my meal plan for the coming week. I’ll be serving these with rice and cheese and probably a few totopas — tortilla chips — on the side. Enjoy!