Chorizo Meatballs With Spicy Tomato Sauce

Makes about 20 (serves 6 to 8).

Note: Move away from the turkey and try something new. Sumac is available at Penzey's and Middle Eastern stores. From "Cooking Like a Master Chef," by Graham Elliot.

• 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided

• 1 small onion, diced

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 8 oz. ground pork shoulder

• 8 oz. lean ground beef

2 Spanish chorizo sausages, casings removed, sausage meat minced

• 2 eggs

2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 c.)

• 1/2 c. dried breadcrumbs

• 1/4 c. red wine

• 1 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley

• 1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh chives

1 tsp. cayenne pepper or hot paprika

1 tsp. ground sumac (see Note), optional

• Grated zest of 1 lemon

• Salt

• 2 (14 1/2-oz.) cans diced tomatoes

1 (14 1/2-oz.) can piquillo peppers, drained

• 1/4 c. olive oil

• 3 garlic cloves, smashed

• 1 tbsp. harissa paste

• 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar

• Fresh lemon juice

• 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/2 c.)

• 2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley

• 2 tbsp. chopped mint leaves


For the meatballs: In a large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. When hot, sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent and softened. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large bowl, mix pork, beef, sausage, eggs, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, wine, parsley, chives, cayenne or paprika, sumac, lemon zest and a little salt. Add cooled onion and garlic. Using your hands, work mixture until ingredients are well mixed. Season with salt. Roll meat between your palms to make 20 small meatballs, about the size of walnuts.

In another large skillet, spread remaining oil (you only need a film of oil to coat the skillet) and heat. Brown meatballs on all sides and transfer to baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

For the sauce: Meanwhile, in a blender, purée tomatoes, peppers, oil, garlic and harissa. Transfer to saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes, until sauce has reduced by about one-third.

Stir in vinegar and season with lemon juice and salt. Put meatballs in sauce and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with feta, parsley and mint, and serve.