Moroccan Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

These smelled sooo good while they were cooking, and they tasted pretty darn good, too! You can serve them alone as an appetizer or serve them with some rice, pasta or couscous for a main dish.

Moroccan Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Rick & Lanie’s Excellent Kitchen Adventures, Rick Bayless & Lanie Bayless

1 1/4 pounds ground beef or lamb
3 teaspoons paprika, separated (I used 2 1/2 teaspoons regular, 1/2 teaspoon hot)
2 teaspoons ground cumin, separated
Leaves from 12 sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons), separated
Salt
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 small onion, peeled and cut into 8 pieces

Place beef or lamb in a large bowl. Measure in 1 1/2 teaspoons of the paprika, 1 teaspoon of the cumin, half of the chopped parsley and 1 teaspoon salt (I used less). Mix or knead to thoroughly distribute flavoring through the meat. Roll meat into 1-inch balls (about 1 tablespoon meat mixture), laying each on a plate as rolled. Set aside.

Turn on food processor. Drop garlic through feed tube. Let machine run until garlic is chopped, then stop. remove lid and scrap down garlic from sides of processor. Add drained tomatoes, olive oil, tomato paste and onion. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin and parsley. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Process until nearly smooth. Scrape into pan or deep skillet that is about 10 inches across (size is important here). Set over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

Nestle meatballs into sauce in a single layer. Swirl pan gently to ensure all meatballs are covered with sauce. Set over medium heat with lid slightly ajar and cook 10 to 12 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through. If sauce is very thick, add a little water. Spoon onto individual plated and serve.

4 servings
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