Updated: May 7, 2020
Ottolenghi's Mini Meatballs with Peas and Lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups frozen peas or fava beans
6 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
chopped parsley, mint and dill
1 pound ground beef turkey or chicken
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 cup bread crumbs
2-3 cloves garlic
4 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1. Place all of the meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add ¾ teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper and mix well with your hands. Form into balls about the same size as ping-pong balls.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in an extra-large frying pan for which you have a lid. Sear half the meatballs over a medium heat, turning them until they are brown all over, about 5 minutes. Remove, add another ½ tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and cook the other batch of meatballs. Remove from the pan and wipe it clean.
3. if using java beans: throw beans into a pot with plenty of salted boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water.
4. Heat the remaining olive oil in the same pan in which you seared the meatballs. Add the herbs, garlic and scallions and sauté over a medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the lava beans or frozen peas, 1½ tablespoons of the lemon juice, 1 cup of the stock, ¼ teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper. The peas or beans should be almost covered with liquid. Cover the pan and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes.
Return the meatballs to the pan with the peas or beans. Add the remaining stock, cover the pan and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. If it is very runny, remove the lid and reduce a little. Once the meatballs stop cooking they will soak up a lot of the juices so make sure there is still plenty of sauce at this point. You can leave the meatballs now, off the heat, until ready to serve.
5. Just before serving, reheat the meatballs and add a little water, if needed, to get enough sauce. Add the remaining herbs and tablespoon of lemon juice. Serve immediately.