Chickpea MeatballsClick to Play

Chickpea Meatballs

Polpettine di Ceci

Mary Ann Esposito

Mom had her clever ways to disguise foods we did not like, including these “meatballs” made with chickpeas. Her reasoning was that chickpeas were just as full of protein as other more expensive foods. These are really fabulous on their own as a hot antipasto or served over a bed of cooked spinach for a filling but inexpensive light supper.

SERVES 6

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas drained
1 small sweet red pepper, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1 small zucchini, ends trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 small carrot, scraped and chopped
1 leek (white part) cut into rings
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons Filippo Berio olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
Fine sea salt to taste
Canola Oil for Frying
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for topping

Directions

Pulse the chickpeas in a food processor and transfer to a bowl. Set aside

Add the pepper, zucchini, carrot, leek and garlic to the food processor and pulse until the mixture looks minced.

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and stir in the minced vegetables; cook until softened. Cool about 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the chickpeas. Add the 1/2 cup grated cheese one egg and mix well.  (If mixture seems dry, add an additional egg or some water or broth.)  

With wet hands form 1 inch balls. Set aside.

Beat the remaining two eggs in a shallow bowl and place the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl.

Coat each ball in egg then in bread crumbs and place on a dish. When all the balls are coated, heat 4 cups of oil in a heavy duty pot or a deep fryer to 375°F.

Fry the balls a few at a time until golden brown and use a slotted spoon to transfer them to absorbent paper to drain. Serve warm.

This recipe is featured on show 2023 – Want Chickpeas?

item recipe is featured in Episode 2023 of Season 20.

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Comments

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  1. Marianne Maiolino's avatar

    Marianne Maiolino

    | Permalink
    Hi,

    Would these meatballs hold up cooking in tomato sauce? Sounds wonderful.
  2. Tony Mazza's avatar

    Tony Mazza

    | Permalink
    Mary Ann, on the episode where you made these chickpea meatballs you put parmigiano reggiano in the mixture but it's not listed in the recipe. I made them for dinner but made sure to add the parmaigiano reggiano, and they were delicious!
  3. Sara's avatar

    Sara

    | Permalink
    Mary Ann, I watched the episode of making chickpea meatballs and they looked great so decided to make them. When I make them, they are really wet and they fall apart when I form them into balls. Do you have any secretes to fix this? Could it be that I am not cooking the vegetables in a skillet long enough? How long should the vegetables be cooked in a skillet?
  4. natalie b's avatar

    natalie b

    | Permalink
    The show had the chickpea "meatballs" dipped in eggs, then flour, and then the breadcrumbs. What is the best way to proceed here?
  5. Paul Lally, Executive producer's avatar

    Paul Lally, Executive producer

    | Permalink
    Natalie,

    Shape the meatballs, dip in egg mixture, then breadcrumbs. Mary Ann said "flour" when she meant to say "breadcrumbs."

    Thanks,

    Paul
  6. Maura's avatar

    Maura

    | Permalink
    I've been baking my meat-meatballs on a rack in the oven to cut back on some fat. I'm sure the crispy, fried breadcrumb coating can't be beat, but would I be able to bake these as a healthy alternative? If so, how long and at what temperature?
  7. Robert greene's avatar

    Robert greene

    | Permalink
    i tried your chickpeas meat ball and you got them jest right im a vegetarian and it was good to see you cook something i cod eat got Ange moor good recipes to sher

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