Albondigas in tomato sauce

Albondigas are minced meatballs in tomato sauce, which are a popular tapas in Spain. The combination of minced meatballs and tomato sauce is common in many countries. The Spanish Albondigas come originally from Arabia. Therefore the original Albondigas are produced only with lamb or beef mince.

Albóndigas in tomato sauce are a regular dish in almost every Spanish tapas bar. There are many different ways to prepare Spanish meatballs. These Albondigas are made of mixed minced meat. The addition of breadcrumbs is necessary to bind the minced meat mass. Without this binding agent, the dumplings disintegrate more easily when roasted.

Ingredients for 4 portions

500 g minced meat, mixed
20 g pine nuts, chopped
2 clove(s) of garlic, pressed or ground with salt to a paste
1 egg(s)
some breadcrumbs, 2 – 3 tablespoons
some parsley, chopped, about 2 tablespoons
Pepper, fresh from the mill
some olive oil for frying

For the sauce:

250 g onion(s)
3 garlic clove(s)
2 teaspoons, dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
1 gr. can/tomato(s), in its own juice, approx. 800 g, coarsely crushed
1 tsp vegetable stock powder, instant
Pepper, fresh from the mill
1 chilli pepper(s), dried, fresh from the mill or finely chopped



Knead the minced meat with all ingredients and form small balls (makes about 40 balls, each about the size of a walnut). Brown the balls in some olive oil from all sides over medium heat until they do not fall apart any more, take them out and put them aside.


Finely dice the onions, cut the garlic into fine slices and sauté together in the remaining frying fat until translucent. Add the bay leaves and the thyme and continue steaming for another 2 minutes, sprinkle with sugar, add the coarsely chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil once. Season the sauce to taste with salt, pepper, vegetable stock and some chilli and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is creamy.
Finally, add the minced meatballs to the sauce and cook until done.

Serve the minced meatballs in the sauce either warm or hot, with fresh white bread and a delicious aioli.

I always freeze ten balls with the sauce. So I always thawed a portion of tapas quickly, which I can serve together with other small things.