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Meatballs in tomato sauce

Found in most tapas bars, this traditional dish tastes best when served piping hot straight from the pan. Provide plenty of fresh bread to mop up the juicy tomato sauce.

  • Serves: 4
  • Difficulty: Very easy
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 8 oz ground beef
  • 1 cup (2 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Manchego or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 scallions, chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups (16 oz) canned plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary


In a bowl, thoroughly mix together the beef, breadcrumbs, cheese, tomato paste, garlic, scallions, egg, thyme, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 12 to 15 firm balls.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook for several minutes or until browned on all sides.

Add the tomatoes, wine, basil, and rosemary. Simmer gently for around 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked. Season generously with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Best with...

WWheel of  heel of 'Reserva' Manchego Cheese in Wood Box

D.O. from La Mancha

This aged Manchego is aged over 12 months by El Trigal. It has a full flavor with a hint of sharpness. It will be very firm due to its extended aging.

This wonderful sheep's milk Manchego is aged for a year to bring out its a deep rich. It is a firm cheese due to its extensive aging, and has a hint of sharpness – somewhat like a Parmigiano cheese in texture, though a bit softer.

The cheese is made with milk from the special Manchega breed of sheep, which are tended by shepherds in the hills surrounding the village. The fresh milk from the ewes is collected in milking pails and immediately refrigerated so as to preserve its natural aroma and taste.

Traditionally, manchego is cut in wedges and served with olives and thin slices of Serrano ham and membrillo quince preserve. Or you can slice and serve with olives and sliced Serrano ham for the authentic flavor of Spain.

The entire production process of Trigal is supervised by the Council of the Denomination of Origin of Manchego Cheese.

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