Yield
4

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 5

Wine Recommendation: Thanks to its warm cumin spiciness, refreshing herbal taste of mint, acidic tomatoes, and meaty lamb, this dish is a challenge to wine. A medium-bodied red that has crisp acidity, not too much tannin, and flavor that isn't too assertive is the best bet. Spain's famous Rioja is just such a wine; if possible, try an older one, indicated by the words reserva or gran reserva on the label.

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