Spanish Style Albondigas in a Sunny Mediterranean Sauce Recipe -
Spanish Style Albondigas in a Sunny Mediterranean Sauce Recipe

Spanish Style Albondigas in a Sunny Mediterranean Sauce

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"The sunshine just shines on and on. A delight to the taste buds."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr 20 mins

    2 hrs 20 mins


  1. Mix ground beef, ground pork, green onion, oregano, parsley, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl. Slowly add and mix breadcrumbs into meat mixture to desired consistency. Form mixture into balls, roll them in remaining bread crumbs to coat, and arrange onto a shallow tray. Cover meatballs with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir pancetta in the hot oil until browned, about 4 minutes. Add onion and garlic to the pancetta; continue to cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir carrot, celery, and red bell pepper into the pancetta mixture; cook until the carrot softens slightly, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle basil, oregano, coriander, and black pepper over pancetta mixture; stir to season evenly.
  3. Pour wine over the pancetta mixture. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid reduces by about half.
  4. Quickly stir tomato puree into pancetta mixture; add chopped tomatoes. Cook and stir the mixture until the tomatoes begin to break down into a sauce, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce thickens, 60 to 90 minutes.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over low heat. Cook and stir meatballs in batches in hot oil until evenly browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes; drain on a plate lined with paper towel.
  6. Gently drop meatballs into the simmering sauce; cook together until meatballs are heated through, about 10 minutes.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 07, 2013

I've had Spanish meatballs before and really liked them so I was anxious to try these. I considered a prior reviewer's comment that they were a bit salty so I decided to leave out the added salt entirely. Rather than frying the meatballs in batches, I simply baked them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Finally, I just dropped the meatballs into the sauce and simmered everything together for 45 minutes. This was excellent. I would suggest cutting the amount of pancetta in half, however, because it was still a little salty; the only thing that marred an otherwise tasty treat. We served this with Awesome Rice Pilaf and Swiss Chard Sauteed with Lime, both recipes from this site as well. The combination of the three made for a memorable meal.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 25, 2014

I served the sauce on frozen meatballs and that wasn't the best idea. But, the sauce wasn't very flavorful and too chunky to coat the meatballs. Instead of simmering stovetop I put in the crock put for several hours. Disappointing.

Nov 19, 2012

Hi, recently, Summerpls gave me a great review. I thank her greatly. re the recipe but said too much salt. However, I was confused.!! Salt in the meatballs is to personal taste and per se, there is no salt used in the sauce. So, "que pasa", what happened. 1.---- Bacon/pancetta contains salt in varying degrees. This could affect the flavour depening on bacon used. Some bacon can be extremely salty. Pancetta is not!!!!. 2. ... In cooking the sauce for intensity, which I thought fine, I have discovered that in intensifying, it can give a salt like taste, not salt but intense flavour. I added a touch, to taste, of sugar and mixed well. Problem solved. Turned out great. Possible solution to a, for me, complexing problem. Hope helps any other brave soul trying the recipe. cheers.

Nov 19, 2012

I made this when it was still a personal recipe; Here is my review:.....Reviewed on Jun. 9, 2012by misty This tasted wonderful and was enjoyed by all. Leftovers were equally as good! I followed recipe as stated; except using fresh garden tomatoes. I think the idea of chilling the meatballs was great, seemed hold them together better; I would have never thought to do that. Thanks for sharing, Don. Another winner in my book !!

Oct 14, 2012

This is an excellent recipe! Tried it yesterday and followed it completely ... except ... I had no white wine so I used red wine. The only reason I did not give it a 5 star was it was too salty ... it's a keeper and next time I will cut the salt down a bit. Having said that ... would it have been different with white wine? Thanx Don for the recipe ...

Jan 29, 2013

Based on other's comments, I checked the sodium content of the pancetta at the store before purchasing, and there was 6 times more sodium per serving compared to low-sodium bacon (which still has plenty salt)! Sorry, but I substituted bacon for pancetta. That substitution didn't really figure into my rating. The dish was good; though I think I put high expectations on the dish with the exotic name and all the ingredients. I have made other red sauces before and this sauce didn’t really seem all that different. The meatballs were denser that what I’m used to and I really didn’t taste the fresh oregano or Worcestershire. The wine in the sauce certainly made it sharp. I encourage people to try this recipe, but for me, it was too much fuss and the overall flavor seemed more Italian to me than Spanish or Mediterranean.


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  • Calories
  • 615 kcal
  • 31%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 26.4 g
  • 9%
  • Cholesterol
  • 87 mg
  • 29%
  • Fat
  • 40.1 g
  • 62%
  • Fiber
  • 3.8 g
  • 15%
  • Protein
  • 26.4 g
  • 53%
  • Sodium
  • 760 mg
  • 30%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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