Lamb Meatballs with Spinach and Tomatoes

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1 1/ 4 ground lamb
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
1/ 2 teaspoon rosemary

Oil for frying

1/ 2 cup chicken broth
1/ 2 cup of spinach, cooked and drained
1- 14 ounce can petite cut tomatoes, drained or 3 tomatoes diced into
1/ 4 to 1/ 2 cup heavy cream or half and half
salt and pepper

8 ounces box of orzo pasta, cooked

1. In a bowl, mix lamb, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, rosemary, salt and pepper together. Shape into 24 to 30 bite size meatballs.
2. In a large frying pan, add olive or canola oil, about 2 tablespoons to cover the bottom of the pan. Add meatballs, fry until cooked through and browned all over. Remove meatballs from pan and set aside. Drain off fat.
3. Add chopped tomatoes and sauté until tender, add cooked spinach. Lower flame and simmer, add chicken broth, cook 10 minutes, then add half and half or heavy cream with salt and pepper. Cook 5 to 10 minutes more. Add meatballs back to frying pan and simmer a few more minutes until everything is heated through
4. Serve immediately while still warm over cooked orzo.
ENJOY – Lamb, spinach and tomatoes, oh my and oh so good!

My observation about lamb is that people either love it or hate it. They will either embrace their plate of lamb or push it away; there is no in between.

While my husband and I love it, we only choose to enjoy it on occasion as not all our kids share the love. Every time I make lamb, I return to my childhood kitchen table with my dad sitting next to me. Cooked lamb has a strong aroma, and it’s this aroma that always triggers memories of my dad.

Dad was a butcher, so we’d eat meat five nights a week. He’d explain to me what we were eating and what part of the animal it came from. These days, with everyone so sensitive about eating meat, I understand that some of you might find this offensive or even barbaric. However, please keep in mind that this was the 1960s, vegetarians were very rare, and folks felt blessed to even have food on the table. Our parents lived through tough times and experienced the feeling of hunger on a regular basis. Being a butcher was my father’s livelihood. He was the head of the house and took pride in his ability to keep his family safe and well fed. I so loved and respected him for that.

This recipe, with the combination of the tomatoes, spinach, and lamb meatballs in a slightly creamy sauce, is so flavorful that you may actually discover a new found love for this dish.

To this day, I still enjoy meat. No, I no longer eat it five nights a week, but I will not deny my attraction to its taste and aroma.

I send love and thanks to my Dad for letting me appreciate a good meal made with meat.

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