Lamb Meatballs with Red Pepper and Chickpea Sauce


Nancy Silverton got this hearty meatball recipe from Matt Molina, the former chef de cuisine at Campanile. When the meatballs are almost cooked through, she pushes them to one side of the skillet and adds the ceci (Italian for chickpeas). That way everything soaks up the flavor of the luscious roasted red-pepper sauce. More Amazing Lamb Recipes

Lamb Meatballs with Red Pepper and Chickpea Sauce
Photo: © John Kernick
Total Time:
40 mins


  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers from a jar (4 ounces), preferably piquillo

  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt, preferably Greek, plus more for serving

  • 2 pounds ground lamb

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 3/4 cups chickpeas from a jar or can, drained


  1. In a mini food processor, puree the peppers. Transfer the puree to a bowl and whisk in the broth and 1/2 cup yogurt.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the lamb, eggs, garlic, 1/4 cup parsley and the thyme and smoked paprika. Add the 4 teaspoons kosher salt. Using your hands, gently mix, then roll into sixteen 2-inch meatballs.

  3. In a very large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the meatballs and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Slide the meatballs to one side of the pan. Add the red-pepper sauce and the chickpeas and bring just to a boil. Simmer the meatballs over moderately low heat, stirring and turning them occasionally in the sauce, until the sauce reduces slightly, 10 minutes. Season with salt. Transfer the meatballs and chickpeas to a platter, spoon the pepper sauce on top, garnish with parsley and serve with yogurt.

Make Ahead

The meatballs can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently to serve.

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