Earthy ingredients from sunny Spain come together for a richly flavored meatball. A sharp Manchego sheep’s milk cheese and paprika-spiced chorizo sausage are mixed with ground pork and just a hint of red pepper flakes and garlic. When rolled into minis, these are a tapas treat. These Spanish-style meatballs stand up to a spicy meat sauce but go just as well with classic tomato sauce.
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THE SPANIARD MEATBALLS
Makes: about 2 dozen 1½-inch meatballs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground pork
½ pound dry Spanish chorizo, finely diced
½ pound Manchego cheese, finely diced
3 cups cooked long-grain white rice
2 large eggs
½ cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Drizzle olive oil into a 9 × 13- inch baking dish and spread evenly. Set aside
- Combine ground pork, chorizo, Manchego, rice, eggs, bread crumbs, tomato paste, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt in large mixing bowl and mix by hand
- until thoroughly incorporated.
- Roll mixture into round, golf ball–size meatballs (about 1-inch), making sure to pack meat firmly. Place balls in prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form grid. Meatballs should be touching one another.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until meatballs are firm and cooked through. Meat thermometer inserted into center of meatball should read 165°F.
- Allow meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in baking dish before serving.