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Eggplant meatballs in oval pan sprinkled with Pecorino Romano and basil leaves.
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Eggplant Meatballs (Polpette di Melanzane)

Eggplant meatball recipe with basil, Pecorino Romano cheese and garlic.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 395kcal
Author James

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 ½ cups breadcrumbs
  • ¾ cup Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 ounces water

Instructions

  • Begin by preheating oven to 350f and setting rack to middle level. Cube eggplant into approximately 1" pieces.
  • Crush and make a paste of 3 garlic cloves. Rough chop a ½ cup of fresh basil leaves.
  • In a large pan on medium-low heat, saute garlic in a ¼ cup of olive oil. After 2 minutes add the eggplant into the pan and mix thoroughly. Add 3 ounces of water to the pan, cover and let cook for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and move softened eggplant to a large mixing bowl. Let the eggplant cool for a few minutes, then add the 1 ½ cups breadcrumbs, ¾ cup Pecorino Romano, 1 tsp black pepper, ½ cup chopped basil and 2 beaten eggs. Mix well to incorporate the ingredients.
  • With wet hands form eggplant meatballs and place on an oiled wire rack or a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Bake the eggplant meatballs for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Place the eggplant meatballs in your sauce of choice and serve hot. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Unseasoned breadcrumbs are recommended to let just the basil and cheese shine through.
  • Use any type of firm, fresh eggplant.
  • Make sure the eggplant isn't too hot before adding the egg, cheese and remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl.
  • Roll the eggplant meatballs with wet or oiled hands to avoid sticking.
  • No extra salt was added due to the inherent saltiness of Pecorino Romano cheese.
  • The eggplant meatballs only need about 5 minutes of cooking in the sauce of your choice.

Nutrition

Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.6g | Protein: 12.6g | Fat: 21.7g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 600mg | Potassium: 406mg | Fiber: 6.4g | Sugar: 6.4g | Calcium: 223mg | Iron: 3mg