Delicious meatballs and the power of the language.

A few days ago I was delivering a lesson in collaboration with a Modern Language teacher and her pupils whom are learning Spanish. The class was making different kind of Spanish food amongst which also some meatballs and I started thinking that my meatballs are never round, spherical, ball shape and I don’t actually care as in the Italian word for meatballs, polpette, there is no sign of their shape.

A while ago I watched a Ted Talk on how the language we speak can actually influence the way we think and I started thinking about my triangular shape meatballs and the fact that I don’t even try to make them round. Next time I will post my family recipe of meatballs in white wine, this spanish recipe has a smoky flavour as it use smoked paprika but if you are not a big fan of smoked food just use normal sweet or hot paprika and adjust the quantity to your taste. Buon appetito!

Albondigas, Spanish meatballs


Albondigas, Spanish meatballs


  • • white bread 4 crustless slices, torn into small pieces
  • • milk 90ml
  • • beef mince 400g
  • • pork mince 400g
  • • garlic 1 clove, crushed
  • • egg 1
  • • smoked paprika ½ tsp
  • • olive oil
  • • garlic 2 cloves, sliced
  • • chopped tomatoes 2 × 400g tins
  • • smoked paprika a good pinch


  • Put the bread in a large bowl, tip over the milk and toss until it has all soaked in.
  • Add the mince, garlic, egg, smoked paprika and lots of seasoning.
  • Mix together really well using clean hands and roll into small meatballs (you’ll make about 32 from this mix).
  • Heat a little olive oil in a wide, frying pan and brown the meatballs all over in batches. Scoop out once they’re browned.
  • Add a little oil to a large pot then add the sliced garlic and the tomatoes (clean the tins with a little of water and add this to the pan) and smoked paprika, season and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Cook for 10 minutes, add back the meatballs then simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.
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