These are juicy, spicy, and work well as either a hot tapas dish or as a hearty sauce to put over couscous or pasta. The flavors are more Mediterranean than Italian.
Spicy Meatballs in Fiery Tomato Sauce
makes about 40 small meatballs
2/3 lb ground pork
2/3 lb ground sirloin
2/3 cup freshly dried breadcrumbs
2 Tbs milk
1/2 cup finely minced onion
3 large cloves finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp cumin (ground)
1 tsp ground coriander
pinch of ground clove
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 fresh egg, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Holding your fingers in the shape of a claw, loosely toss and mix the ground sirloin and ground pork together. Add the minced garlic and onion, the spices (cumin, coriander, clove, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, paprika and salt & pepper). Using the "claw" hand, mix gently.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg and pour it over the meat mixture. In the same bowl, moisten the breadcrumbs with the milk. Add to the meat mixture. Use the "claw" hand again to loosely mix the ingredients (try avoid overmixing or tightly compacting the meat).
Lightly oil a large baking sheet with olive oil. Using a 1 TBS scoop, roll small meatballs and place them on the baking sheet (they may be close together, just not touching). Place the meatballs in the oven and cook for 10-12 min. Remove from oven and set aside.
1 28 oz can Italian plum tomatoes
1 Tbs salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2-4 dried hot chilies (torn into pieces), or 1 Tbs crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely diced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp granulated onion/onion powder
3 Tbs olive oil
In a large sauce pot, heat the olive oil over medium high. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the red peppers. Saute about 5 minutes.
In a blender, puree the canned tomatoes until smooth. Add to the pot (carefully, to avoid splattering from the hot oil). Add the vinegar, cover and let simmer on medium for about 15 minutes.
Uncover the sauce and stir. Add the salt, granulated onion and garlic - taste and adjust seasonings as needed as you continue to simmer the sauce for about 10 more minutes.
When the sauce tastes as desired, gently add the meatballs. Unless serving immediately, turn off the heat, cover, and let the sauce cool. Gently reheat to serve as desired.