Sharing Food and Memories with Friends and Family

February 18, 2014
Irene Saiger


Middle Eastern Flavored Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

topI woke up this morning planning to go to The Shoe Museum, but the snow was coming down and the sidewalks were not inviting.  Instead I sat and listened to a recording of the eulogy that my son David delivered at the funeral of my mother-in-law’s  baby brother who recently passed away,  known by the family as Uncle Gibby.  In it David referred to how much Gibby loved food and music, something we can all relate to.  Instead of venturing out into the snow, we sat around the breakfast table telling stories, eating delicious pletzlach from Grodzinsksi’s Bakery and simultaneously laughing and crying.  It is not surprising that food was a recurring part of the discussion.  As I sat and listened to various ” Gibby stories,”   our conversation turned back to our plans for the day.  We are going to visit my father-in-law this afternoon, but what about lunch and dinner?

The snow is coming down even harder now, but it’s time to head out.  In my head I am humming one of my favorite songs,  Baby It’s Cold Outside and I realize it’s a perfect day for meatballs in tomato sauce.   I think both would make Gibby smile.

Middle Eastern Flavored Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

1 lb. ground turkey

2/3 cup pareve breadcrumbs

1/4 cup water

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp baharat

1/2 tsp ground  black pepper

1/4 tsp  chili flakes

Tomato Sauce

3 tbsp olive oil

1½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp sharp paprika

1 medium onion, chopped

1 lb. large mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1 cup chicken broth

14 oz can chopped tomatoes

1 small red chili, left whole,

1 garlic clove, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot and add the chopped onion, garlic and spices.  Saute over low heat till onion is translucent but not brown.  Add mushrooms and cook for several minutes before adding chicken broth, chopped tomatoes, chili,  salt and  pepper.  Simmer for about 5-10 minutes,  and adjust seasoning.

Mix turkey with the other ingredients and form into small meatballs.   Gently drop into simmering pot of tomato sauce and cook, covered, over low heat for about 1 hour.  Delicious over thick chewy noodles!  Serves 4



10 thoughts on “Middle Eastern Flavored Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

  1. Definitely going to try this soon! When are you coming home from Toronto?

  2. Hi, Irene.

    Sad but somewhere Gibby is smiling.

    Your shvester

  3. Fabulous Irene! I can almost taste them. Love Gail

  4. Hi Irene, Glad to know you made it to Toronto! It supposed to be 70 degrees here, probably a little warmer, but for us SO CAl folks , it is winter. SO meatballs sound yummy. I can just see you all sitting around and laughing/crying/eating! What’s Baharat?????? XO , barbie

    • It is about 20 degrees here Barbie, but I agree meatballs are good anytime! I love that you always take the time to comment Barbie. It is a spice blend from Israel. Ask Effie what’s in it.

      See you soon and miss you!

  5. I have often said that I think we are related. Well we are definitely on the same “meatball wave length”. Even though it is lovely here today, no snow nor ice, I made David Saiger’s favorite Sweet and spicy meat balls. It has become one of our favorites as well. Enjoy your time in Toronto and New York.

    B’ tay avon, Estelle

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