Most countries have some version of meatballs as part of their culinary culture, each with their own subtle differences to define them. Greek meatballs are made with minced lamb and just a hint of ground coriander and cumin. Though not always traditional, this recipe is for meatballs in tomato sauce; It may well have been made in Italy but is found in homes all over Greece. A chunky Greek salad, salty with feta cheese and olives, yet refreshing with cold cucumber and tomato, is the perfect side dish.
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- For The Meatballs:
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- Pinch of salt
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2 cups minced lamb
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Pinch of cumin
- Pinch of oregano, Greek if you can get
- For The Sauce:
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh coriander, parsley or mint for garnish
- For The Pasta:
- 2 1/2 cup orzo
- For The Salad:
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/2 red onion
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, cubed
- 16 olives
- Olive oil and lemon juice for dressing
- 1 Blitz the parsley, onion, and garlic clove with the lemon juice in a processor. Add the meatball spices, salt and lamb mince. Pulse until the mixture forms a ball.
- 2 With wet hands, form the mixture into about 16 walnut sized balls. By keeping your hands wet, the mixture won’t stick.
- 3 Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and brown the meatballs in a splash of olive oil. Set aside.
- 4 Tip the tinned tomatoes into a saucepan with the olive oil, salt, and water. Simmer for around 20 minutes until slightly thickened. You can cook it as long as you like; the further you reduce it the silkier and glossier it gets.
- 5 Carefully lower the meatballs into the hot sauce and simmer gently for a further 20 minutes.
- 6 Bring a pan of water to a rolling boil and add salt and oil. Tip in the orzo and cook for roughly 8 minutes or until tender.
- 7 Drain and serve in warm bowls.
- 8 Finish the meatballs with plenty of chopped herbs and serve over the pasta.
- 9 Toss together the salad ingredients, dress with a slick of oil and a squeeze of lemon.