Ingredients

Girgento Sauce:
2 cups tomato sauce (see link)
Roasted eggplant juice from Eggplant Timbales (see above) or 1 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
Meatballs:
3 pounds ground lamb
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
5 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs (see link)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

1. Prepare Girgento Sauce: Liquefy the tomato sauce and the reserved roasted eggplant draining juice (or chicken stock) in a food processor or blender for 2 minutes. Stir in the sugar and mint and set aside until ready to use. The sauce can also be made 1 to 2 days in advance, just cover and refrigerate.
2. Prepare Meatballs: In a large bowl, mix together the ground lamb, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, sugar, salt, pepper, 2 1/2 tablespoons of the parsley, the mint, Romano cheese and bread crumbs. Mix well and form into meatballs that are slightly flattened for easier browning. Use about 2 heaping tablespoons of meat mixture for each meatball. This will yield about 30-38 meatballs. (Sometimes I like making larger meatballs, which yield fewer - make them however you prefer.)
3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large sautŽ pan set on high heat. Brown the meat balls in 2 batches, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove them from the pan and drain them on paper towels or brown paper grocery bags (these work great!). Drain the grease from the pan. Put the meatballs back into the pan and pour the Girgento Sauce over them. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes.

Nick Stellino suggests serving the meatballs with his Eggplant Timbales (see link). If you are just making the meatballs, when making the sauce, substitute 1 cup chicken stock for the roasted eggplant juices. Serve the meatballs and sauce over pasta.

Lamb Meatballs With Girgento Sauce and Eggplant Timbales
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