These harissa meatballs that are quickly seared and then simmered in a flavourful tomato, chickpea sauce will easily become your new favourite weeknight dinner. Everything cooks in one pot, which always makes cooking during the week so much easier. Harissa paste originates from North Africa and is a combination of hot peppers, spices, oils that truly makes every dish infinitely better. Depending on your desired spice level, you can always add a bit more or less. Serve these meatballs with couscous, fresh parsley, a squeeze of lemon and a few dollops of yogurt or feta to elevate them even more. It’s warming, comforting and really hits the spot.
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In a bowl, combine all meatball ingredients, except olive oil. Shape them into balls, about 3 tablespoons worth per meatball.
Heat a Dutch oven or a wide-rimmed sauté-pan over medium-high heat. Add extra virgin olive oil to the pan and swirl around.
Place the meatballs in the pan, gently turn them periodically until they’re browned all around. Remove them from the pan and place on a plate. At this point, they won’t be fully cooked through. Work in shifts to avoid overcrowding the pan.
Once all meatballs are cooked and set aside, start the sauce. Add onion to the same pan and sauté for 5 minutes, toss in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Season with sea salt and pepper.
Toss in the harissa paste, diced tomatoes or tomato sauce, mix and bring to a simmer.
Pour in the chickpeas, stir around. Place the meatballs in.
Cover the pan and simmer for 10-12 minutes until the meatballs are fully cooked.
Enjoy with couscous and garnish with fresh parsley. Top with a fresh squeeze of lemon and yogurt dollops, if you like.