Albóndigas en Salsa de Tomate (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)

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Albóndigas en Salsa de Tomate (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)
Serves 4-6 as tapas

Ingredients
Albóndigas
3 GF crisp bread pieces, crushed into crumbs
1 T. nutritional yeast
1-2 thin slices jamon de Serrano (substitute prosciutto), finely minced
1 1/2 T. Spanish onion, finely minced
1 1/2 T. fresh parsley, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/8 t. sea salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 t. Pimentón de la Vera dulce (substitute sweet paprika)
8 oz ground chuck (85% lean)
1 T. extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Salsa
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. Spanish onion, finely diced
1-2 thin slices jamon de Serrano (substitute prosciutto), finely minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/8 t. cayenne
1/4 t. Pimentón de la Vera dulce
1/4 c. extra fine sherry
2/3 – 1 c. canned diced tomatoes, pureed with their juice
1 c. chicken broth
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/4 c. fresh parsley, minced, divided

Directions
1. Line a plate or half baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine meatball ingredients and mix with a fork or your hands until evenly blended.
3. Form the meat mixture into 1-inch balls, placing them on the parchment-lined plate as you go. You should have approximately 18 meatballs. Place the meatballs in the refrigerator 30 minutes (or up to eight hours) to firm up.
4. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add minced jamon, and sauté 2 minutes more. Add garlic, bay leaf, cayenne, and paprika, sautéing until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sherry and stir well, and bring to a boil. Then add the tomatoes and salt and simmer the sauce for 5 to 10 minutes, until the flavors are melded. Remove bay leaf and set sauce aside to cool. If desired, purée cooled sauce in blender before using in step 6.
5. Pan fry meatballs in a non-stick skillet for a few minutes over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with remaining meatballs.
6. Nestle meatballs in tomato sauce and return pan to heat. Stir in chicken broth, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through and sauce has reduced, about 16-18 minutes.
7. Season with sea salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in 3 T. parsley immediately before serving.
8. Divide meatballs and sauce between small cazuelas, and garnish with remaining parsley.

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