Meatballs, albóndigas, have been elevated to an art form in Spain, served at tapas bars in earthenware cazuelas, passed around at cocktail parties, and enjoyed at home. While I’m pretty addicted to the robust Madrid-style meatballs, I’d be the first to admit that the Catalans are the true albóndiga masters. Take these, for example. They are juicy and light, with the veal and pork mixture rendered extra special by the addition of applesauce, wild mushrooms, and some pancetta for juiciness. They are compulsively edible on their own as a tapa, perhaps with allioli or romesco sauce on the side, or finished in the Almond and Saffron Sauce that follows. If you’re serving the meatballs in the sauce, have plenty of crusty bread on hand for mopping it up.
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