Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. Meatballs:

  2. 3/4 cup chopped white onion

  3. 1 very large portobello mushroom (about 4 oz), wiped clean with a damp paper towel and finely chopped.

  4. 2 slices white sandwich bread , crusts removed

  5. 1/3 cup milk

  6. 10 oz. ground veal

  7. 10 oz group pork

  8. 2 to 3 ounces sliced pancetta , minced (freeze for about 20 minutes and it will mince easier)

  9. 1 large egg , beaten

  10. 3 TBSP unsweetened applesauce

  11. 3 TBSP Italian or flat leaf parsley

  12. 1 1/2 tsp sweet NOT smoked paprika

  13. 2 tsp fresh ground pepper

  14. 1 1/2 tsp Kosher or sea salt or more to taste

  15. all-purpose flour , for dusting the meatballs

  16. Almond and saffron Sauce (Optional)

  17. 3 TBSP olive oil

  18. 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion

  19. Reserved chopped portobello mushroom

  20. 1 medium size ripe tomato , cut in half, peeled and seeded

  21. 2 TBSP medium- sweet sherry , or 1 large pinch of sugar

  22. 1/4 cup dry white wine

  23. 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth

  24. 1 slice (about 3 inches round and 1/2" thick), baguette , cubed

  25. 2 medium size garlic cloves , coarsely chopped

  26. 8 toasted almonds , coarsely chopped

  27. 2 TBSP finely chopped Italian or flat leaf parsley

  28. 1 small pinch of saffron , pulverized in a mortar and steeped in

  29. 2 TBSP very hot water

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Meatballs:

  2. Heat 1 TBSP of olive oil in a medium size skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add 2 cups of the chopped mushroom, reserving the rest for the sauce, if making. If not making the sauce, add all the chopped mushroom here. Cook, stirring, until it releases and reabsorbs some of its liquid, about 5 minutes. Let the mushroom mixture cool.

  3. Place the bread and milk in a small bowl and let soak for 5 minutes. Drain, squeeze out the excess liquid, and finely crumble the bread.

  4. Place the crumbled bread and the veal, pork, pancetta, egg, applesauce, parsley, paprika, pepper, salt, and the mushroom mixture in a large bowl. Gently knead the meatball mixture with your hands just until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined; do not over-knead.

  5. Spread a thin layer of flour on a large plate. Wet your hands, then break off a piece of the meatball mixture and shape it into a 1 inch ball. Dust the meatball in the flour, shaking off any excess, then gently toss it between cupped hands to give it shape. Repeat with the remaining meatball mixture, placing the floured meatballs on a small baking sheet.

  6. Heat 1 TBSP of the olive oil in a very large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat. Add half of the the meatballs and brown all over, shaking the skillet so that the meatballs brown evenly. If you plan to serve the meatballs in the sauce, cook them for 3 to 4 minutes. If serving without sauce, cook them until cooked through, about 7 minutes, adjusting the heat so that the meatballs don't burn.

  7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a bowl. Add the remaining 1 TBSP of olive oil to the skillet and cook the remaining meatballs in the same fashion. If serving the meatballs without the sauce, let them cool 5 to 10 minutes, then sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread. If you are making the sauce, don't clean out the skillet.

  8. Almond and Saffron Sauce Heat 1 TBSP of the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the reserved chopped mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato and cook, stirring, until it begins to caramelize, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the sherry and wine, increase the heat to high, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, stir, then stir in the meatballs. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the skillet, and cook for 10 minutes.

  9. Meanwhile make the picada Heat the remaining 2 TBSP olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and cook until they begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and almonds and cook until fragrant and just beginning to brown, about 1 1/2 minutes.

  10. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bread, garlic, and nuts to a food processor. Add the parsley and saffron and pulse until mixture is ground.

  11. Gently stir the picada into the skillet with the sauce. Cook until the sauce is flavorful, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let cool, 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish with additional parsley and serve with crusty bread.


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