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Meatballs Made Better With A Dash Of Paprika And Sherry

More than just meatballs, these albondigas are nothing like our Filipino meatball soup called almondigas. Instead, they’re smothered in a rich and flavorful tomato sauce that doesn’t taste anything like the Italian variety. Be generous with the Spanish paprika, Chef Jill suggests, since it lends the sauce a very distinct smoky flavor.



Serves 8 to 12



  • 350 grams ground pork
  • 150 grams ground beef
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • large pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (or white bread soaked in milk)
  • 2 eggs


  • flour, for dredging
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, for frying
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons sherry
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup vegetable or beef stock
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • smoked or sweet paprika, to taste
  • salt and black pepper, to taste


1. In a bowl, mix together all ingredients for the meatballs. Form into 1 1/4-inch balls and chill for at least 1 hour. When ready to fry, coat the meatballs with flour. Set aside briefly.

2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a sauté pan. Fry the meatballs until light brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

3. Into the same pan, add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté briefly. Pour in the sherry and cook briefly. Add the crushed tomatoes, stock, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 to 8 minutes.

4. Put back meatballs into the pan. Add paprika. Simmer for another 15 minutes or until the sauce is reduced. Season with salt and black pepper.  

5. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving dish. Serve immediately.


This recipe first appeared in FOOD Magazine, April-May 2014 issue

Styling by Jill F. Sandique

Photography by Paulo Valenzuela