Monday, 9 February 2015

Meatballs with artichokes and peas

Probably many of you will look at me in disbelief if I say that the last few days were probably the coldest ones in my life... This is precisely the charm of living in an apartment in the centre of Barcelona, where the the buildings are more than 100 years old, and although their beautifully decorated, modernist facades are clean and well maintained and the apartments in them are renovated, unfortunately most of them do not have a central heating. So normally we try to warm the flat with all types of electric heaters, and then we wait with fear for the electricity bill...I have to admit that it's not so bad in the night  - with a duvet pulled over my head, I'm actually very warm - but the worst is probably in the morning, just after getting up from a warm bed, when I turn on the heater which thermometer notifies me that the temperature in the apartment is, for example, 11,4 ºC!. Have you ever been so cold in your house?. Fortunately, today is a bit better:).

Hot meals are, of course, the best warm-ups, like today's meatballs in hot tomato sauce with artichokes and peas :).

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

600 g ground meat (I used beef and pork)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
1 tablespoon white wine
salt and freshly ground pepper
flour for coating the meatballs
oil for frying

4 artichokes
100 g frozen peas
1 onion
300 ml grated tomatoes or tomato puree
1/2 red bell pepper
1 tablespoon flour
50 ml white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
pinch of saffron treads
500 ml vegetable stock


Place the meat in a bowl, add the eggs, bread crumbs and wine. Mix well, season with salt and pepper. Set aside for about 30 minutes in refrigerator. Heat about 300 ml of oil in a frying pan or a saucepan. Form small meatballs and coat them with flour. Fry until golden brown, on both sides. Remove from the oil and set aside on paper towels.

Trim off the tips (about 2-3 cm of it) and remove the hard external leaves of the artichokes. Cut them into 4 pieces. Peel the stems and cut into 2-3 pieces. Place them in a bowl with water and a splash of lemon juice.

On a separate frying pan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add chopped onion and fry until transparent. Add diced pepper and fry for 2-3 minutes. Then add the tomato puree. Mix and fry for about 3 minutes, then add 1 tablespoon of flour. Mix well and fry for 2 minutes. Add the wine, and after 2-3 minutes, pour 400 ml of broth. Bring to a boil and then add the artichokes and previously fried meatballs. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place finely chopped garlic, saffron and parsley in a mortar. Add a little bit of broth and grind until the mixture forms a fairly smooth paste. Add the rest of the broth, mix well and then add the mixture into the pan. Add frozen peas. Cook for a few more minutes, until the peas are tender and the sauce thickens a little. 

Serve with potatoes or rice.


Enjoy !!!

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