Eggplant "Meatballs"---Polpette di Melanzane

TOTAL TIME: 55 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 45 min
 
YIELD: 6 servings
LEVEL:

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 large eggplants, to yield about 4 pounds, peeled and cut into quarters lengthwise
  • 4 slices day-old bread
  • 1 to 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup pecorino, freshly grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped to yield 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
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      Directions

      Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Add the eggplants and boil 10 minutes. Dip the bread in the water and remove, squeezing to drain the water and set aside. Remove the eggplants from the water and drain well. When the eggplants have cooled, coarsely chop them and place them in the work bowl of a food processor. Add the soaked bread and 1 egg and pulse to form a somewhat homogenous paste adding more egg if necessary. Add 1/2 cup pecorino, garlic and parsley and continue to pulse until a smooth yet somewhat dry mixture is formed. Do not over-process.

      Turn the mixture into a mixing bowl and place bread crumbs on a large plate. Using your hands and working quickly, roll the eggplant mixture into balls with a 1/2-inch diameter and roll each ball in the bread crumbs to coat. Hold each ball on a sheet tray.

      In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil until just smoking. Cook the eggplant balls in the oil a few at a time, for 6 to 7 minutes, until dark golden brown, turning gently with a wooden spoon to evenly brown all sides. Remove to a tray or plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with the remaining pecorino and serve.

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      3

      Newest Ratings and Reviews

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      • on April 15, 2013

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        I am a decent home cook. I make a hundred or so new recipes per year, usually pretty successfully. I was somewhat skeptical about this one because eggplant soaks up liquids like a sponge and I was right because if you follow the directions you end up with eggplant soup. Even after adding a full container of bread crumbs, something not called for in the recipe and also not very appetizing, the eggplant is still way to loose to form into balls. I ended up throwing 3 perfectly good eggplants down the drain. I believe the instructions for this recipe are flawed in at least 2 ways. First I think boiling the eggplant for 10 minutes is way too long as you end up with mush. Second, if you were to boil them until just tender, maybe 3 minutes or so, and then wring out the excess liquid perhaps you would be able get a texture with the other ingredients to form "meatballs". Maybe I will try it with one eggplant so if I fail again I will have only wasted one.

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      • on October 25, 2012

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        wonderful recipe! nice to have a meatless sunday every so often ! Made this for in-laws and they all wanted the recipe. Thanks Mario xoxo

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