Make these tasty meatballs into a meal for company by serving them with Smoky Eggplant Dip, some good naan, and a green salad. Admittedly, the spices and condiments are crossing over a few different types of cuisines, but I think it works!

Harissa paste has a bit of heat but is still passable for my kids, especially if I smash the meatballs into the couscous. Every brand will vary; Mina is a well-known brand that makes a mild version. Trader Joe’s sells one that is a bit spicier.

Excerpted with permission from Around Our Table by Sara Forte. Published by Hardie Grant Publishing, April 2024.


Serves 4
    For the meatballs:
  • 1 tablespoon mild harissa paste
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup panko
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound ground lamb

  • For the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • ½ small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon mild harissa paste
  • 1 (28-ounce / 800 g) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Cookware Used
King Sear
12-Inch Cast-Iron Skillet
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Holy Sheet
Nonstick Half-Sheet Pan
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The Great Tool Family
5-Piece Silicone Utensil Set
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In a large mixing bowl, combine the harissa, egg, panko, and garlic and stir to mix. Add the parsley, oil, salt, pepper, and lamb and use your hands or a fork to mix until just combined. Cover and set aside in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 425°F / 220°C.

In King Sear over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add the onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic, cinnamon, coriander, and paprika. Stir to combine and toast for another minute, just until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. While stirring, slowly add the crushed tomatoes, harissa, and salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and cover while you prepare the rest.

Roll the lamb meatballs into about 2-tablespoon-size balls and line them up on Holy Sheet. Transfer to the oven, and roast on the middle rack for 15 minutes. Once cooked, carefully transfer the meatballs into the tomato-sauce mixture, cover, and gently simmer for 10 minutes until all warmed through.

While the meatballs finish cooking, make your couscous. In a pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and a big pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring it to a gentle simmer. Stir in the couscous, turn off the heat, cover, and let it sit for 10 minutes to absorb the liquid. Fluff the couscous with a fork, season with salt and pepper, add a nub of butter, and stir in the dried apricots and parsley.

Serve the meatballs with couscous and a sprinkle of mint and feta over the top.