Spanish meatballs

Spanish meatballs or albondigas – a great tapas dish.


250g (about 4) good-quality sausages

400g lean beef mince

1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

Small bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 medium onion, peeled and very finely chopped

1-2 tbsp plain flour

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 small red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

1/2 tsp paprika

700g jar of passata or frito (tomato pulp)

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper


1. Squeeze the sausage meat from its casings into a large mixing bowl. Add the beef mince, chilli flakes, garlic, parsley and half the chopped oniion and mix it thoroughly (it’s easiest to do this with your hands but use a fork if you prefer.) Season the mixture generously with salt and black pepper.

2. Sprinkle a little flour on a chopping board and lightly flour your hands. Take heaped teaspoons of the mixture and shape into walnut-sized balls until all the mixture has been used.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 190C. Heat 1tbsp of the olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan and fry the meatballs until brown all over. When they are all browned, transfer them to a large ovenproof dish that can hold them all in a single layer.

4. Heat the remaining tbsp. of oil in the same frying pan. Add the remaining onion, diced pepper and paprika and saute for about 2-3 mins. Stir in the passata or tomoato pulp, bring to the boil and cook for a further 3 mins. Season to taste.

5. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and cook for 30-35 mins. or until lightly browned, turning once during cooking.

6. Serve the meatballs warm with cocktail sticks.

This recipe is from a book called 100 Great Tapas by Pippa Cuthbert, published by Cassell ISBN-10: 1 84403 533 6.

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