The nostalgic satisfaction of meat loaf eludes many of us during the busy workweek because the soul-soothing comfort food takes so long to bake.

But what about meatballs instead? This version gets a Spanish flair from smoked paprika, which provides great depth of flavor. The meatballs are simmered in a little red wine and tomato sauce; choose an inexpensive Rioja to cook with to keep the theme going.

Smoked Paprika Turkey Meatballs

Makes 4 servings

1 pound ground dark turkey meat

1 egg

1/4 red onion, chopped very fine

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs (see note)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sweet or spicy smoked Spanish paprika (see note)

6 sprigs parsley, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce

1 cup dry red wine

1. Lightly mix the turkey, egg, onion, bread crumbs, salt, paprika and parsley together in a medium bowl; form the mixture into 2-inch balls.


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the meatballs. Cook, turning, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.


Add the tomato sauce and wine to the skillet; lower heat to a simmer.


Cook, turning the meatballs in the sauce occasionally and spooning the liquid over the meatballs, until meatballs are cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.


Buy smoked Spanish paprika in spice stores and some supermarkets, or substitute regular paprika. Also, grind your own crumbs from bread that has gone stale. Simply process in a food processor until fine; save any extra in the freezer.

Per serving:

295 calories, 26 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, 16 grams fat, 135 milligrams cholesterol, 1,002 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber