BRYANNA'S CATALONIAN "MEATBALLS" IN SAFFRON AND ALMOND SAUCE, VEGAN-STYLE (ALBÓNDIGAS EN SALSA DE ALMENDRA)

Serves 5

25 vegan "meatballs" (I used my homemade vegan "Neatballs", but Nate's or Trader Joe's meatless "meatballs", or ones made from Lightlife "Gimme Lean" or Match "ground beef" alternative could be used instead -- I can't get any of these where I live.)

unbleached white flour

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

The Sauce:

1 cup vegan "chicken" broth (I used Better than Bouillon "No-Chicken" base)

1 cup fruity dry white wine (dry reisling, Chablis, Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and many others)

a pinch of Spanish saffron

grated zest of 1 organic lemon

2 teaspoons sugar

The "Picada":

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or dry white breadcrumbs

1/4 cup blanched, slivered almonds

3-4 cloves garlic, sliced

(some people add a bit of chopped parsley)

Addition:

salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Garnish:

Sweet Spanish paprika (I used smoked sweet pimenton)

Roll the "meatballs" lightly in flour and brown them in a 12" nonstick skillet with the 1-2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until crusty on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Wipe out the skillet and pour in the broth and wine; bring it to a boil. Add the saffron, lemon zest, and sugar, whisking. Add the "meatballs" and remove from the heat.

In a smaller (8-9") skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the other "Picada" ingredients-- the breadcrumbs, almonds and garlic. Stir the mixture until it begins to turn golden, then take off the heat.

 Grind the "picada" ingredients to a paste in a food processor and add it to the pan with the broth and "meatballs" and stir gently as it comes to a simmer. Turn the heat down, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. If the sauce is too thick for your taste, add a little water. Taste for salt and pepper.

Serve the "albondigas" (meatballs in Spanish) with the sauce, sprinkled with the pimenton.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 363.2 calories; 30% calories from fat; 12.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 506.6mg sodium; 181.2mg potassium; 26.3g carbohydrates; 1.4g fiber; 3.9g sugar; 24.9g net carbs; 29.6g protein; 8.0 points.