Lamb Meatballs in Tomato-Mint Sauce with Couscous

Lamb Meatballs in Tomato-Mint Sauce with Couscous
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


  • 4 cups large chunks of crusty bread
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (a generous handful)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 2 pinches ground allspice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (a generous handful)
  • Fresh mint, finely chopped (a generous handful)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 10 ounce box (1-1/2 cups) couscous
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (a generous handful), toasted


In a bowl, soak the bread in the milk for a few minutes until softened, then squeeze out excess liquid and transfer to a food processor; pulse to grind. Place in a large bowl; add the lamb, egg, cheese, one-quarter of the garlic, the lemon peel and allspice; season with salt and pepper. Grate about 2 tablespoons of the onion into the lamb. Combine the mixture and roll into meatballs the size of walnuts (20 to 25 balls).

In a deep skillet, heat the EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic, grate in the remaining onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and 1/2 cup chicken broth and cook until bubbling. Add the meatballs and simmer, turning over if theyre not fully submerged, until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir in the parsley and mint and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the remaining 1-1/2 cups chicken broth and the butter to a simmer. Stir in the couscous, turn off the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the pine nuts and fluff with a fork.

Serve the meatballs and sauce over the couscous.