Sometimes I need a Friday night to look like this. Tender, lamb meatballs filled with feta, pine nuts, mint, and cinnamon, bubbling in a bath of tomato sauce. Meatballs are a family favorite for a reason, and this Greek-style variation adds just a little twist to keep things interesting. The oregano and cinnamon gives them a summery, Mediterranean flavor, and the tomato sauce (not pre-made sauce, I’m talking pure canned tomatoes) adds that rich, savory-sweet taste. There’s the tiniest hint of lemon, to brighten up the flavors and perfume the meatballs. Use some warmed pita bread to scoop a big bite of meatball and a spoonful of sauce. I may or may not have wolfed one down straight off the pan.
I had a feeling this would go great with a big glass of red, and I was right.
Start by mixing all of the meatball ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Work the mixture with your hands until everything is nicely combined.
Roll the mixture into 12 large meatballs and set aside on a plate. Chill the meatballs in the fridge until you’re ready to add them to the sauce.
Find your large cast iron skillet and heat over medium heat. Add in some olive oil to coat the pan. Saute some chopped onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes until fragrant and translucent, 2-3 minutes. If you like a little more kick in your sauce, add another 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
Pour in a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and give everything as nice stir. Bring the sauce to a boil.
Once boiling, carefully add in the meatballs. Spoon some sauce over the tops of the meatballs and reduce the heat slightly to bring to a stead simmer. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes, flipping the meatballs halfway through and spooning with more sauce.
Serve with warm pita bread and a big glass of red wine.
These Greek meatballs are so tender they fall apart at the first bite.