I hated eggplant growing up! That also included anything with lots of cheese for that matter. Wow, have my tastes changed as an adult. In my grown up life, eggplant is one of my favorite dishes. I’m not sure when I decided I liked eggplant but now I eat it all the time.
To share my love of the purple goodness I prepared eggplant “meatballs”. Technically it’s a meatless ball but who cares about the name, its all in the flavor.
This recipe is very quick and easy to prepare and freezes well. It is also a versatile dish. You can serve as an appetizer, for lunch or dinner or as a passed hors d’oeuvre. Travel my journey preparing my delicious:
Eggplant Meatballs with Spaghetti
For this recipe, I chose to saute the eggplant but you can certainly roast or grill the eggplant. Be cautious when grilling or roasting your eggplant, it could give it a bit of a smoky taste. The sauteed eggplant should be soft so that it will combine well with the breadcrumbs, cheese, and egg.
The sauteed eggplant should be soft so that it will combine well with the breadcrumbs, cheese, and egg.
Once the ingredients have been combined the mixture should be on the soft side of firm. You want them to hold up when cooked in your sauce or fried. I used a small ice cream scoop to form the meatballs. If using a scale they weigh about 2 ounces each. If preparing for a passed hors d’ oeuvre I would make them half the size or 1 ounce.
Once rolled and ready for cooking your have 3 options:
- Fry naked
- Fry dusted in finely ground panko
In my option, I achieved the best results when dusted in finely ground panko and pan fried. The meatballs held up better when cooked in the sauce and had a nice added texture from the panko.
Make a double batch of Eggplant Meatballs and freeze for another meal or two. You can freeze after they have been fried or cooked in marinara sauce.
- 1½ pound eggplant, cubed
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- 1½ cup Pecorino Romano cheese
- 2 eggs
- In a large pan saute eggplant with olive oil, garlic, and onion until soft.
- Into the mixing bowl
- Transfer sauteed eggplant, add the breadcrumbs, Pecorino cheese and egg to the bowl.
- The best method is to use your hands to mix ingredients thoroughly. The mixture with is on the soft side of firm.
- Form into balls
- Use a small ice cream scoop or pinch off about 2 inches in size. Gently roll between your hands until you form a ball.