Lamb meatballs in tomato sauce
I love meatballs. I love them, and one of the reasons is because we eat them only twice a year, and at those times I want them to be very special. These were inspired by the Latvian brand Spilva after they sent me a bag of tomatoes in their juices. There was lamb in the freezer, and it was Christmas time. So these meatballs, with orange zest, nutmeg, rosemary, cardamom and cinnamon, represent all that the festive season is about – comfort, love, and coziness.
400 g boiled chickpeas
1 celery stick, very finely chopped
6 peeled garlic cloves, in large pieces
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp anise seeds
1 bay leaf
1 rosemary sprig
800 g tomatoes in their own juices
10 walnuts, in pieces
zest of 1/2 organic orange, finely grated
sea salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
600 g minced lamb or chunks
7 garlic cloves
70 g peeled red onion, pieces
50 g sourdough bread
1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
1 tsp sea salt (or to your liking)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cardamom pods, seeds crushed
freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp anise seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Prepare the meatballs. Place bread in a bowl, pour over water, and leave for 15 minutes.
Place the ground meat in a bowl with all of the ingredients (squeeze off the excess water of the soaking bread); mix everything by hand so everything is well incorporated. Or, do like I like to do – I put pieces of meat into a blender and process them until almost minced. Then I add rest of the ingredients and mix until everything is blended. Then prepare the meatballs by taking a tablespoon (so that you have 5 cm large balls) and place them on a plate.
When all are done, heat the pan and when hot, add oil. Place all of he balls into the pan and fry on high heat until golden on all sides. Add chickpeas, celery, garlic, spices, herbs, walnuts, orange zest, and tomato. Mix everything (or you can take out the balls, place all of the ingredients into the pan, mix, and then place meatballs on top). Cover with the lid and sauté for 1,5 hours on low heat. Serve topped with olive oil and some cheese.
Recipe and pictures: Signe Meirane
Camera: Sony Alpha 7s
Pan: Masterpro, from Bergner
Plate and cutlery: HM Home