Veal Meatballs with Chickpeas and Kale

Le Tabil Spice Mix Ingredients:

Meatball Ingredients:

Prepare the meatballs: Soak bread in water for 10 minutes; squeeze dry. Meanwhile, in a food processor, grind garlic, spice mix, paprika, salt, black pepper, and 2 TBS water to a paste. Add veal and pulse just until combined (20 seconds). Add the squeezed bread, parsley, and egg yolk and pulse just to combine. With oiled palms, roll the mixture into balls about the size of a walnut. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and fry in small batches, turning several times until golden brown on all sides (about 3 minutes). Transfer meatballs to a colander and drain of excess oil.

Casserole Ingredients:

Set a 5-quart heavy casserole over medium heat, add 3 TBS olive oil, onions and 1/4 cup water. Cook for 5 minutes, or until onions are soft but not browned. Add tomato paste, cook until it sizzles and water has evaporated. Transfer browned meatballs, and 1 cup chicken broth to casserole. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. While meatballs are cooking, sauté the chopped tomatoes in 1 TBS oil until liquid has evaporated.

After meatballs have cooked for 30 minutes, remove cover and add sautéed tomatoes, drained chickpeas, blanched chopped kale, chopped olives, lemon peel and 1 tsp of the Le Tabil spice mixture. Simmer, uncovered an additional 10 minutes. 4 servings.

From Paula Wolfert, The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen, 2003