Smoky Meatballs in Serrano Ham-Tomato Sauce

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Smoky Meatballs in Serrano Ham–Tomato SauceRecipe
Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro
This zesty one-dish meal combines beef, a great source of zinc, with vitamin C–rich tomatoes. To prepare ahead, cook meatballs, cool, and freeze in a zip-top plastic bag for up to one month. When you're ready to serve the dish, defrost the meatballs in the refrigerator and sauté the ham. Follow the recipe, adding the thawed meatballs along with the tomatoes to the cooked onion mixture. Serve with a bold and bright red Rioja wine.
4 servings


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1 (1 1/2-ounce) slice white bread
1 pound 92% lean ground beef
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 ounces serrano ham, finely chopped
Cooking spray
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/4 cups chopped red bell pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added whole peeled tomatoes, undrained and chopped
4 cups hot cooked fettuccine (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely shredded aged Manchego cheese
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)


1. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 12 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup. Combine breadcrumbs, beef, and next 7 ingredients (through egg) in a bowl. Using wet hands, shape mixture into 20 (about 2 tablespoons each) meatballs. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ham to pan, and cook for 3 minutes or until well browned, stirring frequently. Transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Add meatballs; cook for 5 minutes or until browned, turning often. Add meatballs to ham in bowl. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring often. Add sherry; cook for 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add tomatoes and meatball mixture; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from heat, and keep warm.

3. Place 1 cup pasta in each of 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with 5 meatballs, 3/4 cup sauce, and 1 tablespoon shredded Manchego cheese. Garnish with additional parsley, if desired.

Created date

November 2008

Nutritional Information

Calories 559
Caloriesfromfat 28 %
Fat 17.6 g
Satfat 6.6 g
Monofat 7.2 g
Polyfat 1.2 g
Protein 38.5 g
Carbohydrate 61.3 g
Fiber 4.7 g
Cholesterol 128 mg
Iron 6 mg
Sodium 704 mg
Calcium 180 mg