Moroccan Meatballs with Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Sauce: Moroccan Series, #3

Moroccan Meatballs with Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Moroccan Meatballs with Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Sauce

A Moroccan take on a classic Italian pairing or vice versa?  I wonder who invented it first?  Well, when I look around the world at various cuisines, I notice many variations on meatballs in tomato sauce, or some kind of sauce and honestly, who cares who did it first? It’s just delicious.  When I make this dish I always serve it with my Spiced Couscous Pilaf recipe and (profuse apologies to my Italian friends), it’s just so much more exotic than meatballs and spaghetti; lighter too.  Couscous is fluffy and not as filling as spaghetti and it doesn’t allow the tomato sauce to fall to the bottom of the bowl the way that spaghetti does (a pet peeve of mine). So on both counts, I prefer the Moroccan version to the Italian one.  I urge you to check it out for yourself.   This recipe is adapted from Bonnie Stern’s Simply HeartSmart Cooking. I really hope that you enjoy it!

Moroccan Meatballs with Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Moroccan Meatballs with Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

 Meatballs:

1 pound extra lean ground beef

¾ cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed, drained and finely chopped

¼ cup finely chopped white or yellow onion

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup dried bread crumbs

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Tomato Sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 28 ounce tin, plum tomatoes, pureed with juices

¼ teaspoon pepper

salt to taste

Method:

 Preheat oven to 375°

Place all ingredients for meatballs in a medium mixing bowl and combine.  Shape into small balls.

Place meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until browned and cooked almost through.

Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add onion and sauté until soft.

Add garlic and spices and sauté until fragrant.

Add pureed tomatoes. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.  If the mixture becomes too thick, add a bit of water to thin it out.

Season with pepper and salt to taste.

Add the meatballs and simmer gently until the meatballs are cooked through.

As with any sauce-based recipes, the flavour improves if allowed to sit overnight in the fridge.

Serve with Spiced Couscous Pilaf with Raisins and Pistachios.

Moroccan Meatballs with Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Moroccan Meatballs with Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Sauce

15 Responses to “Moroccan Meatballs with Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Sauce: Moroccan Series, #3”

    • chefjulianna

      Yes! I would like to shake their hand too! I’m so glad you think it looks mouth-watering. Thanks so much for taking the time to make a comment; I really appreciate it.

      Reply
  1. saucygander

    That sounds delightful! I always have a soft spot for Moroccan style food, thanks to a good neighbourhood restaurant where we lived many years ago. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      You’re more than welcome! I too have a very soft spot for this lovely cuisine! I wish there were more Moroccan restaurants near me too! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by my blog – I appreciate it!

      Reply
  2. Liz

    Thanks for introducing me to Moroccan food. Chickpeas and cumin are favourite ingredients of mine. I have bookmarked and will try them. Lovely weekend to you!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Hi Liz, I am excited that you would like to try one of my recipes! I hope you like it when you do. Please let me know 🙂

      Reply

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