Thursday, March 29, 2012

Greek Meatball Spaghetti and an Update

First let me thank all of you who voted on Food52's Your Best Celery Contest.  My Roasted Celery Soup was the winner and I'm told that I should be receiving some "nifty" prizes.  I really appreciate you taking the time to vote.

Next let's go to last night's dinner which was spaghetti and meatballs with a Greek twist. You'll need 1 1/2 pounds of ground lamb for this - one pound for meatballs and a half a pound for sauce.  This recipe should feed about four of you (or two of you twice).

For the meatballs:
1 pound ground lamb
1 small onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater
2 cloves grated garlic
1/2 cup panko or fresh bread crumbs
1 egg
1 Tbl ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Combine all the ingredients thoroughly, shape into small (about 1 inch ) meatballs and place on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes in a 350F oven. Place the meatballs on paper toweling to drain.  Set aside while making the sauce.

For the sauce and putting it all together:
1/2 pound ground lamb
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 Tbl dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1Tbl tomato paste
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
8 ounces dry red wine
26 to 28 ounces chopped tomatoes (with the juice)
1 cup water
2 Tbl chopped fresh mint
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
The meatballs
Crumbled feta cheese and chopped fresh mint for serving

In a large sauce pan brown the lamb until it loses its pink color.  Add the onions, green pepper and garlic and continue to saute until the onions soften a bit.
Stir in the tomato paste, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper and red pepper if using.  Cook a few minutes more.
Add the wine, bring up to the boil and then add the tomatoes and water.
Simmer for about 15 minutes.
Add the meatballs and simmer another 10 minutes.
Just before, serving stir in the chopped fresh mint and cinnamon.
Note:  If you make the sauce ahead of serving time, stir in the mint and cinnamon just after re heating.
Serve over your favorite pasta garnished with feta and fresh mint

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