Recipe of the Week: Polpette di Melanzana
You can serve your eggplant meatballs as is, either hot or at room temperature. Served this way, they make a great antipasto or snack. In the alternative, you can simmer them in a simple salsa di pomodoro (tomato sauce). Makes four servings. (Chef tip: Look for long slender eggplants, as they have fewer seeds and are less bitter.)
1 medium eggplant
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup plain bread crumbs, or as needed
Olive oil, for frying
Roast the eggplant, whole and unpeeled, in a 400F oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the oven and let it cool a bit. Skin the eggplant and place the flesh into a food processor. (If the flesh is watery, gently squeeze out the excess liquid with some paper towels.) Add the remaining ingredients, except bread crumbs, and process until well blended and fairly smooth.
Then, spoonful by spoonful, and using the pulse function on the food processor, mix in bread crumbs until the mixture holds together into a soft, workable paste. (Use only as much as you need, no more.)
Take a scoop of the mixture, about a tablespoon each, and form little “meatballs.” Shallow fry the meatballs in olive oil until golden brown on all sides.