For the meatballs, lightly beat the egg in a large bowl. Add the meat, then add the bread, mashing it with your fingers, the onion, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Work with your hands into a soft, well-mixed paste. Shape into balls the size of large walnuts and roll in plenty of flour.
Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a wide skillet until it sizzles when you throw in a small piece of bread. Add the meatballs, in batches, and fry briefly, turning to brown them all over, then lift them out with a perforated skimmer and drain them on paper towels. They do not need to be cooked through, as they will cook further in the sauce.
fruity dry white wine
a good pick of saffron threads
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup pepper
2 tsp 1 thin slice firm white sandwich bread, crust removed
¼ cup blanched whole almonds
3 Tbsp olive oil
For the sauce, pour the stock (or water and bouillon cube) and wine into a wide skillet and bring to a boil. Add the saffron, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste, and the sugar.
Make a picada: Fry the bread, almonds, and garlic cloves in the oil in a small skillet until golden brown. Lift them out and let cool a little, then grind to a paste in a mortar or food processor. Stir the picada into the sauce.
Add the meatballs and simmer, covered, over very low heat, turning once, for about 20 minutes, until cooked through, adding a little water if necessary.
Recipe from The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden/Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins, 2011.