Lamb Meatballs with Cumin, Mint, and Tomato Sauce Recipe

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 3 tablespoons chopped blanched almonds
  • 3 tablespoons dried bread crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 2/3 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the lamb, almonds, bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons of the mint, the garlic, 1 teaspoon of the cumin, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Shape the mixture into 16 meatballs, about 2 inches in diameter.
  2. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning, until browned on all over, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  3. In a large deep frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the remaining 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer, covered, until the meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes longer. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons mint.