Meatballs In Sofrito Sauce
INGREDIENTS
  • Servings: 10
  • Sofrito Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ½ cup water
  • 1⁄3 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • Meatballs:
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup chopped pimiento-stuffed
  • green olives
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Lime-Cilantro Gremolata:
  • Grated rind of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro leaves
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
DIRECTIONS
  1. Lime-Cilantro Gremolata: Grated rind of 1 lime
  2. 1 tablespoon minced cilantro leaves
  3. 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  4. To prepare Sofrito Sauce, heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion, pepper and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor. Add tomatoes, water and cilantro. Blend or process until smooth. Add salt and pepper.
  5. To prepare meatballs, combine beef, olives, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well. Form mixture into 30 (1-inch) meatballs. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook until browned on all sides. Drain off fat.
  6. Add sofrito sauce to skillet. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until meatballs are thoroughly cooked, about 15 minutes; uncover the last 5 minutes of cooking, if necessary, to thicken sauce. Transfer meatballs and sauce to a serving dish or individual shot glasses.
  7. To prepare Gremolata, combine lime rind, cilantro and garlic; mix well. Sprinkle over meatballs and serve.
  8. Nutritional Information Per (3-meatball) serving: 120 calories, 8g fat, 40mg chol., 8g prot., 5g carbs., 1g fiber, 410mg sodium.
RECIPE BACKSTORY
This a bit different from any other meatball recipes I have seen...not Italian, Swedish, or a variation of classic crock pot meatball appetizer (you know what I mean). Apparently the sauce is Puerto Rican. It would make a good main dish if you added rice. Overall, I do like it. I am not usually a green olive eater so getting used to the taste of that with the meat. Very different. I did not use all the oil called for..also did not bother with the gremolata...too much work (and I just plain forgot).