SERVES 6 to 8

Morocco has long been on my list of must-visit countries. Twisting alleys, markets crowded with vendors, scampering trained monkeys… I need to see it all. The country sits in the northwestern corner of Africa, and the influence of Arab and Moorish invaders can be tasted in traditional Moroccan cuisine. Lucky us! Spices like aromatic cinnamon, cumin, and paprika are prevalent, along with herbs like mint and parsley. These meatballs are seasoned with essential Moroccan spices, then simmered in tomatoes that cloak them in a sauce that tastes like mystery and adventure.



• 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
• 1 tablespoon paprika
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 2 pounds ground lamb


• 1 tablespoon coconut oil
• 2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed (about 2 teaspoons)
• 2 teaspoons paprika
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 2 medium tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 2/3 cup tomato paste
• 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)


• 1/4 cup roasted pistachios, chopped

Lamb and beef are both popular in Morocco, so a blend of ground beef and lamb is a good way to roll.


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the parsley, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper with a fork. With your hands, crumble the lamb into the bowl and knead until all of the ingredients are incorporated.

2. Moisten your hands with water and shake to remove excess. Measure a level tablespoon of lamb and roll it into a ball between your palms. Line up the meatballs on a baking sheet until it’s time to put them in the sauce.

3. Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or pot. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper, and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and stir for about 1 minute. Add the water, tomato paste, and parsley, mixing to dissolve the tomato paste.

4. Bring the sauce to a boil, then gently place the meatballs in the skillet, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 40 minutes covered, then remove the lid and cook an additional 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Sprinkle each serving with a few teaspoons of chopped pistachios.