We recently took an Italian vegetarian class at ICE, and this was probably my favorite recipe. We split up into small groups and each was assigned to a dish. In the end, we were supposed to all sit down and have the meal as a group. These eggplant meatballs did not make it to the table- enough said.
2 eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
20 sprigs italian parsley, chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese
3 cups fine bread crumbs, made from day old bread
1 cup sunflower or light olive oil, for frying
Heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute eggplant cubes until lightly golden and very tender. Add onion and continue to cook until onions are tender and translucent. Add garlic and cook for additional 2 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper, transfer to bowl and refrigerate until mixture is well chilled.
When eggplant mixture is cold, fold in the parsley, eggs, fresh breadcrumbs and pecorino. Adjust seasoning if needed.
To shape, take heaping tablespoons of the eggplant mixture ( I like to use an ice cream scoop), form into small patties, and dredge in fine bread crumbs. Place formed polpettine on a lined pan until ready to cook.
Heat the oil over medium heat and add polpettine when hot, a few at a time and cook until well browned on both sides. (Here you may seek the assistance of your husband like I did).
Arrange on a decorative platter and serve warm or room temperature.
Note- these can be served on their own, or with a side of marinara sauce. We had them by themselves during the class and no one complained. I like to have these with spaghetti. They freeze well in case you want to double the recipe.