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Albondigas en Tomate (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)

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You can’t beat a great meatball recipe. These Albondigas en Tomate (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce) are a staple here in Spain and they always hit the spot. A tender and rich beef meatball made from 100% ground beef, fresh garlic and parsley. They are pan seared and then finished off in a rich tomato sauce. Great served just as is with crusty bread or with pasta or rice.

albondigas en tomate in a white skillet
Albondigas en Tomate (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)

I am pretty certain that every place on planet earth has their version of meatballs.  When I think about Spanish cuisine, I don’t automatically think “meatballs“.  Do you?  But they are on pretty much every single menu in town and you are no home cook if you don’t have your favourite casera recipe. 

This was my very first attempt at the Spanish style Albondigas en Tomate. I went to my trusty and reliable source, Karlos ArguiƱano!  I have not had a failed recipe from him yet.  This recipe is a close replica of his and I have to say was pretty darn authentic.  Filed in “To make again.”

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce with bread
Albondigas en Tomato (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)

Here in Spain these are generally just served on their own.  Today, we served them over pasta and it was the perfect combo!

If you love Spanish cuisine, you need to check out my Empanada de Carne (Spiced Beef Patties), they are delish!

Now, let’s take a look at the meatballs.

close up of the meatballs in tomato sauce
Albondigas en Tomato (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)

What We Need To Make The Albondigas en Tomate (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)

For the meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 Cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Garlic clove
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Small bunch of parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Extra parsley for garnish

For the sauce

  • 2 lb tomatoes
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon soy sauce

REMEMBER, The Full recipe and instructions will be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

over head view of the meatballs in tomato sauce
Albondigas en Tomato (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)

Notes About The Spanish Meatballs

They are pretty basic and straightforward and the recipe pretty easy to follow.  In any case, here are a few little tips to help you along the way. 

  • First of all, if you find the sauce too thick, add a little water until it reaches the desired consistency. 
  • As for breadcrumbs, I used very fine store bought ones.  I find these the best in recipes like this. 
  • When frying the meatballs, make sure to move them around the pan and roll them over to ensure they are browned over. 
  • Fresh tomatoes are a must for the sauce, so don’t substitute can tomatoes for this recipe.
close up of the meatballs in tomato sauce
Albondigas en Tomato (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)

How To Serve and Enjoy The Meatballs

These are great served fresh off the stove with some Rustic Bread. Of if you prefer, you can serve them with pasta, rice or even Crispy Garlic Potatoes. However you chose to serve them, they are fantastic.

Happy cooking friends and I’ll see you all in a few days.

over head view of the Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Albondigas en Tomato (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)

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Albondigas en Tomato (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)

You can't beat a great meatball recipe. These Albondigas en Tomato (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce) are a staple here in Spain and they always hit the spot. A tender and rich beef meatball made from 100% ground beef, fresh garlic and parsley. They are pan seared and then finished off in a rich tomato sauce. Great served just as is with crusty bread or with pasta or rice.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: comfort food, meatballs, spanish cuisine, tomato sauce
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 495kcal
Author: Julia Pinney

Ingredients

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 Cup bread crumbs fine
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Garlic cloves crushed
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Small bunch of finely chopped parsley
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Extra parsley for garnish

For the sauce:

  • 2 lb tomatoes chopped
  • 1 Onion peeled and chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves crushed
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon soy sauce

Instructions

  • Make the sauce first. In a large deep sided skillet set over medium to high heat, add the olive oil, onions and garlic. Stir well and leave to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stir well and reduce heat to medium low. Leave to cook for about 20 minutes or until the tomatoes are completely soft. Stir occasionally while cooking. Add salt, pepper, sugar and soy sauce. Stir well and transfer to a blender to blend the sauce. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Mix really well with your hands. Form into small balls and repeat for all the mixture.
  • Heat enough olive oil in a large skillet to go about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Add one meatball to test if the oil is hot enough. It should sizzle. Add all the meatballs and cook for about 5 – 7 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
  • In a large clean skillet set over medium heat, add the tomato sauce and meatballs. Stir well and cook for a further 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with extra parsley. Serve straight away.

*A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.

Nutrition Facts
Albondigas en Tomato (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 495 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 121mg40%
Sodium 707mg31%
Potassium 963mg28%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 1950IU39%
Vitamin C 35mg42%
Calcium 90mg9%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

By on June 2nd, 2017
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