Spiced Meatballs in Almond Sauce


  • 12 ounces ground beef
  • 12 ounces ground pork
  • 2 slices stale bread, crust removed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Combine ground beef and pork in a bowl. Soak bread in water to cover until soft. Squeeze it out and add to the meat with garlic, onion, parsley, salt, nutmeg, and eggs. Knead well to make a smooth mixture.

Form the meat mixture into 1-inch balls and roll them in flour. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and fry the meatballs in batches slowly until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Remove and drain.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup almonds, blanched and skinned
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 slice bread, crust removed
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken or meat broth
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped as needed
Pour oil into a deep skillet or medium pot over medium heat and fry almonds, bread, and 2 garlic cloves in oil until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove, reserving the oil in the skillet. Set aside a few almonds for garnish.

In a mortar, crush peppercorns, saffron, clove, and salt. In a blender or food processor, grind together fried almonds, bread, fried garlic, and remaining garlic clove with wine to make a smooth paste. Add spices to this mixture.

Stir almond mixture into oil remaining in the skillet and add broth. Bring to a boil, then add the fried meatballs. Simmer meatballs, covered for 20-30 minutes, adding a little additional liquid if needed.

Serve meatballs garnished with the reserved toasted almonds and chopped parsley.

Yield: 10-12 servings

Suggested Wine Pairings:
Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Riesling, Chenin Blanc