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Moroccan Meatballs
in Tomato Sauce
Makes 4 Servings
*1 1/4 pounds ground beef or lamb
*3 teaspoons paprika, divided (Moroccan paprika is medium hot - add cayenne for a hotter taste)
*2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
*12 large parsley sprigs, divided
*1 large garlic clove
*15-ounce can diced tomatoes
*1/4 cup olive oil
*3 tablespoons tomato paste
*1 small onion
1To make the meatballs, place beef or lamb in a large bowl. Measure in 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin, half of parsley and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix or knead to thoroughly distribute flavorings through meat. Roll meat into 1-inch balls, laying each on flat plate as rolled. (Each will take about 1 tablespoon meat mixture).
2To make sauce, turn on food processor. Drop garlic through feed tube. Let machine run until garlic is chopped, then stop. Remove lid and scrape down garlic from sides of processor. Add tomatoes, olive oil, tomato paste and onion. Add 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.
3To cook meatballs, remove pan from heat. Nestle meatballs into sauce in a single layer. Swirl pan gently to ensure all meatballs have sauce over top. Set over medium heat, set lid slightly ajar and cook 10 to 12 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through. Taste and stir in more salt if you think necessary. If sauce is very thick, add a little water. Spoon onto individual plates and serve.
  • Working ahead: Pull leaves off parsley and discard stems. Finely chop leaves. (You should have about 3 tablespoons). Peel garlic. Drain tomatoes. Cut off top and bottom of onion and discard. Cut in half from top to bottom. Peel off papery outside layers and discard. Roughly chop into 8 pieces.
  • Source
    Executive Chef Rick Bayless, Frontera Grill, Chicago, IL