It’s getting a little bit ridiculous, but I have gotten to the point of being unable or unwilling to satisfy my hunger with something mangey or store bought. Increasingly, I find myself checking the ingredients of much loved foodstuff such as liverwurst (don’t knock it till you try it!) and thinking about how I can replicate it myself even though, undoubtedly, it would just be easier to buy it at the store.
I also find myself arriving home at the end of a long day, when it has already been dark for hours and I am physically exhausted, standing in the kitchen flipping open cookbooks to see what catches my fancy. Late night or not, the desire to whip something delicious up from scratch has almost completely overtaken me.
I choose to believe that isn’t a bad thing but to compensate for my cooking-everything-zeal, I’ve collected a small group of recipes that I know by heart and can make while half-asleep and watching Serangoon Road on HBO.
This recipe for spicy Spanish meatballs and red wine tomato sauce is a great staple; it yields a very large portion, usually between 20-25 meatballs and a lot of delicious sauce and it is an easy to make, one pot meal. You can serve it with thickly sliced country bread, rice or quinoa, whatever you find most appetizing. If you don’t like too much spice, reduce the amount of red chili pepper flakes.
- 4 bread slices, soaked
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup hard cheese, grated (preferably Manchego or Parmesan)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic, crushed
- 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
- ⅔ cup dry red wine
- 1 tablespoon sweet Paprika
- ¾ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, add the bread slices and almond milk. Allow to soak for 5 minutes. Wring out the bread with your hands and add to a large mixing bowl with the ground beef, egg, grated cheese, garlic, parsley, spices and sea salt. Combine with your hands and form 12-16 balls, depending on what size you like your meat balls (I like mine the size of golfballs).
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium low heat. Add the meatballs and brown evenly on all sides. Transfer to a foil lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes depending on their size.
- Meanwhile to make the sauce, sauté the diced onion in olive oil in a deep pan over medium heat until the onion is translucent, approximately 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes before adding in the diced tomatoes, red wine and spices. Reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally over the next 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and serve with your choice of accompaniment.