I have never enjoyed eggplant any other way than breaded and fried, but it’s a lot of work to make from scratch. I love this recipe because it gives you the taste of breaded eggplant without the fuss. They are so good! Even my husband who doesn’t eat eggplant really enjoyed them.
- cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1¼ pounds unpeeled eggplant (cut into 1- inch cubes)
- 2 -3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil (plus leaves for garnish)
- 1½ cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 large pasture raised egg, beaten
- 2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese (freshly grated, plus more for serving)
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 (24 ounce) jar Pomodoro sauce (of course my favorite is Trader Giotto’s Rustico Pomodoro Pasta Sauce)
- finely ground sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- ricotta cheese (optional, for serving)
- Heat oven to 375℉. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Place oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When hot add the eggplant and ¼ cup of water.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place cooked eggplant in a food processor and pulse a few times.
- Transfer eggplant to a bowl and mix in breadcrumbs, beaten egg, Romano cheese, parsley, garlic, chopped basil. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
- Form the eggplant mixture into balls approximately 1 ⅛ ounce each (I use a 2” scoop). Roll tightly and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake until firm and browned, about 20-25 minutes.
- Heat sauce in a large deep skillet to warm the sauce. Add the eggplant “meatballs” to the sauce and simmer 5 minutes.
- Garnish with basil leaves and serve with ricotta cheese (if desired). Enjoy!! adapted from Skinny Taste