Meatballs in Almond Sauce

Serving Size: 4
Total Time:


  • 1 large egg
  • olive or sunflower oil for frying
  • 1 Pound ground pork or veal
  • 0.5 4 slice firm white sandwich bread, crusts removed, soaked in water, and squeezed dry
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed to a paste
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • salt
  • pepper
  • flour for dredging

For the meatballs, lightly beat the egg in a large bowl. Add the meat, then add the bread, mashing it with your fingers, the onion, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Work with your hands into a soft, well-mixed paste. Shape into balls the size of large walnuts and roll in plenty of flour.

Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a wide skillet until it sizzles when you throw in a small piece of bread. Add the meatballs, in batches, and fry briefly, turning to brown them all over, then lift them out with a perforated skimmer and drain them on paper towels. They do not need to be cooked through, as they will cook further in the sauce.

Almond Sauce

  • fruity dry white wine
  • a good pick of saffron threads
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • salt
  • 1 cup pepper
  • 1 sugar
  • 2 tsp 1 thin slice firm white sandwich bread, crust removed
  • 0.25 cup blanched whole almonds
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

For the sauce, pour the stock (or water and bouillon cube) and wine into a wide skillet and bring to a boil. Add the saffron, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste, and the sugar.

Make a picada: Fry the bread, almonds, and garlic cloves in the oil in a small skillet until golden brown. Lift them out and let cool a little, then grind to a paste in a mortar or food processor. Stir the picada into the sauce.

Add the meatballs and simmer, covered, over very low heat, turning once, for about 20 minutes, until cooked through, adding a little water if necessary.

Recipe from The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden/Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins, 2011.