Cocktail Meatballs in Tomato-Saffron Sauce (Albondigas al Azafran)
Why This Recipe Works
Albondigas translate simply as meatballs and feature in many traditional Spanish dishes. The basics are very similar to Italian meatballs—a combination of ground meat (we like beef and pork), along with egg yolk (for richness and structure), bread mixed with milk to form a paste (for tenderness), and seasonings like salt, pepper, and parsley. Because these meatballs are meant to be consumed in one bite, we made them quite small—just 1 teaspoon of meatball mixture to make 1/2-inch-round meatballs. After browning the meatballs in a nonstick skillet (to prevent the meatballs from sticking and breaking apart), we removed them from the pan to prepare the sauce. Once the meatballs were cooked through, we stirred in the picada (a combination of ground almonds, parsley, garlic, saffron, and paprika) to infuse the sauce with vibrant flavor and an enticing aroma.