A Meatballs Recipe

What is this a picture of? humble meatballs. Look again. These are geopolitical statements. All based on the same idea but each so very very different from their neighbours.
I used to think that my grandfather's Moroccan fatty lamb meatballs filled with breadcrumbs, harissa, spices all sorts and a hint of mint were the best and only kind. Then, I discovered that my college friend Myriam Andreoletti, nowadays better known as clown "Julietta" and co-founder of the Bataclown, had beef and pork meatballs as staple-food on her spaghetti, .
Travelling on, I enjoyed many Bakso breakfasts, Indonesian floating meatballs made of beancurd as next door in the Philippines Bola-Bolas are really crackling pork. And now I am told that New-York meatballs, possibly yet another version of Myriam's nana's recipe are all the rage.
Unable to write down my childhood meatballs recipe so much it changed throughout the years. Here is the closest I found, in taste if not in location: Greek meatballs as described by Jill Dupleix recipe book "Lighten up".
Ingredients3 thick slices white bread, crusts removed and torn into pieces
125ml red wine
500g minced lamb
1 small onion, grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 medium egg, beaten
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus extra to garnish
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
For the tomato sauce
500ml tomato passata
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp sugar
1 bay leaf
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Put the bread in a bowl and soak in the wine for 5 minutes. Lightly squeeze out the wine – reserving it for the sauce – and put the bread pieces into a bowl with the lamb, onion, garlic, egg, parsley, cumin and cinnamon. Season and mix well.
2. Shape the mixture into 12 medium-sized balls, each slightly bigger than a golf ball. Put on a large, non-stick baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes, until golden.
3. Meanwhile, combine the reserved wine with all the sauce ingredients in a wide saucepan. Put over a medium heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until thickened. Season. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for a further 10 minutes, turning halfway to coat. Discard the bay leaf.
4. Divide the meatballs and sauce between serving plates. Serve with mashed potato and garnish with extra parsley.
Nutritional info
Per serving: 418kcals, 21.1g fat (8.5g saturated), 29.2g protein, 24.4g carbs, 11.5g sugar, 1.2g salt

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