On the menu

Recipe of the week: José Pizarro’s moorish meatballs

This dish is perfect for a midweek supper or as part of a tapas evening

Meatballs are one of my favourite things to cook, says José Pizarro: they’re a great way to play around with different flavours.

This recipe is unusual, and fairly quick, and would be perfect for a midweek supper or tapas evening.

Serves four people

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 banana shallot, finely chopped
  • 300g beef mince
  • 300g pork mince
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • handful of chopped coriander, plus extra to garnish
  • 250g baby spinach
  • 30g sultanas
  • 30g pine nuts, toasted
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • crusty bread, to serve

For the spiced saffron yoghurt:

  • 300g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
  • pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 1 tsp boiling water
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small frying pan over a low heat and gently fry the shallot for 10 minutes until soft. Set aside and allow to cool.
  • In a large bowl, mix together both types of mince, along with the garlic, cooled shallot, spices and chopped coriander. Season well and shape into 16 walnut-sized balls.
  • Heat the remaining olive oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and fry until they are golden, then transfer to the oven for 5 minutes to finish cooking. Remove to a warm plate and cover loosely with foil.
  • Meanwhile, make the spiced saffron yoghurt. In a bowl, mix together the Greek yoghurt, garlic and chopped mint and season well to taste. Then stir the saffron along with its soaking water into the yoghurt mix.
  • Place the frying pan that you used for the meatballs over a high heat and add the spinach and sultanas, along with a small splash of water. Mix together and allow the spinach to wilt and mingle with the cooking juices from the meatballs. Add the toasted pine nuts, then return the meatballs and any resting juices back into the pan and toss everything together.
  • Divide the yoghurt between 4 plates and then top with the meatballs and the spinach, sultana and pine nut mix. Serve with crusty bread.
Book cover

Taken from Spanish Home Kitchen: Simple, Seasonal Recipes and Memories from My Home by José Pizarro, published by Hardie Grant at £27. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £21.99 (incl. P&P), call 020-3176 3835 or visit theweekbookshop.co.uk.

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