Macaroni with Eggplant Meatballs
A wintry-night favorite that tastes as good on the 5th of July.
- 3 tbs Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups peeled and diced eggplant
- 1 to 2 tbs water
- 1 1/4 cups fresh breadcrumbs ( or more if mixture seems too soupy)
- 1/2 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten with a fork
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- 1 pound macaroni
- 1. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet or saucepan and slowly cook the garlic over medium heat until golden brown. Add the eggplant and 1 tablespoon of the water, cover, and cook over low heat until the eggplant is very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining water only if the eggplant begins to stick to the skillet. Stir the eggplant occasionally while it cooks. Set the eggplant aside and let it cool.
- 2. Combine the breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, oregano, eggs, and cheese in a large bowl. Stir in the eggplant, mix well, and let it stand for 20 minutes. Add additional breadcrumbs only if mixture is soupy. Flour your hands and scoop and form meatballs the size of a small egg. There should be enough to make about about 16.
- 3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat and fry the meatballs, turning them occasionally so they brown evenly, or bake them in an oiled casserole dish in a preheated 350°F oven until browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to the tomato sauce and keep hot.
- Serve as is or with cooked pasta.
- Tip: When forming the meatballs, wet your hands occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking.
This recipe was featured on Season 10 - Episode 1003.