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How to Make: Albóndigas

Spanish Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Spanish: albóndigas con salsa de tomate
Catalan: mandonguilles amb salsa de tomàquet

Every tapas bar in Spain has a version of these meatballs. Meatballs are a staple of Spanish cuisine and can be made from beef, lamb, or pork. Serve these balls with cocktail sticks as tapas with a drink or serve the meatballs with cooked rice for a hearty bite.

How to make Albondigas
How to make Albondigas


For about 10 meatballs

  • 300 g of ground beef or mixed ground meat
  • 1 large egg (or two small)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 can of fine tomato pulp
  • 4-5 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Sugar

Tip: Tomato sauce like Heinz tomato frito can also be used for this recipe instead of the tomato pulp. In that case, you only need to warm up the tomato sauce before serving.

Recipe: Albóndigas con salsa de tomate

  1. Finely chop the onion and parsley and beat the egg in a bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onions until soft for a few minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool.
  2. Put the onions with the egg, breadcrumbs, parsley, and minced meat in a large bowl. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and mix it with your hands.
  3. Form about 8-10 balls with damp hands. Place these on a plate and put them in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Heat a dash of oil in a frying pan and warm it over medium heat. Add the tomato pulp and let it simmer on low heat. Season to taste with a teaspoon of fine salt and a teaspoon of sugar. The tomato sauce is ready when it has thickened a bit.
  5. Heat some oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Place the meatballs in the pan, first on high heat and then softer, so they become brown and crispy on the outside and cooked inside. Serve the meatballs with the tomato sauce. They taste best when served warm, but are also good at room temperature.

Variation tip: for a complete meal, serve the meatballs with tomato sauce along with white rice and a piece of baguette. Delicious!

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Hello! My name is Marta, and I am a born and raised Barcelonian. I love introducing people to Barcelona, especially the Barcelona known to locals. In Barcelona, I am always looking for fun places and tips that I can then share with you, with the goal of helping you experience Barcelona like a local.

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