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Meatballs and Tomato

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Makes: 60
olive oil
1 red onion, very finely chopped
500g / 1 Ib 2 oz fresh ground lamb
1 large egg, beaten
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste
2 tbsp very finely chopped fresh mint
salt and pepper
300ml / 10fl oz tomato & pepper salsa, to serve

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned.

Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Add the onion to the lamb with the egg, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne, mint, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Use your hands to squeeze all the ingredients together. Cook a small piece of the mixture and taste to see if the seasoning needs adjusting.

With wet hands, shape the mixture into about 60 x 2cm / 3/4inch balls. Place on a tray and chill for at least 20 minutes.

When ready to cook, heat a small amount of olive oil in 1 or 2 large frying pans (the exact amount of oil will depend on how much fat is in the lamb). Arrange the meatballs in a single layer without overcrowding the pans and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until brown on the outside but still pink inside. Work in batches if necessary, keeping the cooked meatballs warm while you cook the remainder.

Gently reheat the tomato & pepper salsa and serve with the meatballs for dipping. These are best served warm with reheated sauce, but they are also enjoyable at room temperature.

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