Main course

Sardine Balls in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas & Bulgur

If you’re looking to expand your recipes repertoire, this dish inspired by Mediterranean cuisine makes a healthy and wonderfully nourishing alternative to your regular meatballs.
Sardine Balls in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas & Bulgur

Featuring the delicious flavors of Mediterranean cuisine, these sardine balls in tomato sauce surprise the senses with their own unique combinations of spices and simple ingredients. If you’re looking to expand your recipes repertoire, ground sardines make a healthy and wonderfully nourishing alternative to your regular meatballs. Add chickpeas to the slowly simmered tomato sauce and serve with bulgur for an accessible yet authentic meal, and of course rich in flavor!

Ingredient list

Prep  time . 10 minutes
Cooking: 10 – 15 minutes

Serves 3-4 

  • 3 cans of sardines in tomato
  • 1 pound (450g) tomato, peeled and seeded (or canned tomato flesh)
  • 1 2/3 cups (400ml) water
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin , 1/4 coffee spoon paprika , 1 pinch of pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 small can (200g) of chickpeas
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Directions

1. In a large saute pan, sauté crushed garlic and chopped onion in a little olive oil over low heat. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, without coloring.

2. Add spices, then add tomato flesh and water. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 15 minutes minimum over medium heat. The sauce should reduce and the flavor develop.

3. Meanwhile, open the sardine cans, discard the sauce, remove the central bone of the sardines. Mash in a bowl with the egg. Mix well with hands and form balls between the palms of the hand. Don’t press too much, the balls shouldn’t be too much compact.

4. Put the meatballs in the sauce and cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes more.

5. Add the drained chickpeas to the sauce 5 minutes before serving. Serve with quinoa or bulgur.

(Image by Rose Cook)

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Sardine balls recipe
Sardine Balls in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas & Bulgur