3/4 cup plus 4 tablespoons white onion, finely diced (divided use)

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

6 cups watter

1 1/2cups chopped cilantro

12 dried pasilla chiles, deveined and seeded

Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 pounds lean ground sirloin

2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped

1 egg white

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced, plus additional for garnish (divided use)



In a large stockpot, cook 3/4 cup onion and the garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until translucent. Stir in tomato sauce, water, cilantro, chiles and salt, and bring to a low boil. When chiles are reconstituted (they should be soft), puree everything in a blender. Return mixture to the stockpot and return to a low boil.

Meanwhile, combine ground sirloin with tomatoes, remaining diced onion, egg white, 1/4 cup mint, rice and salt and pepper to taste. Form into about 48 (1-inch) meatballs, and place in the boiling sauce. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until meat is cooked and rice is tender.

Serve sprinkled with chopped mint, to taste, over white rice or with freshly made tortillas.



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