Friday, August 1, 2014

Meatless-balls with Eggplants - Polpette con Melanzane

Yummy vegetarian meatless-balls (polpette) with eggplants. 
Every bite filled with delightful Mediterranean flavors.

Tonight I prepared an easy, quick, super healthy, vegetarian one-dish meal.
And so deliciously Mediterranean!
This is one of Chef Jamie Oliver's recipe that I found in the Jamie Magazine Italia. You can click here to read the original recipe. As you can see, the name of this dish is actually "polpette alle melanzane", where "polpette" translates into meatballs. But the Italian word doesn't imply that there is meat in the balls.  Just chopped or ground ingredients, mixed together with eggs and breadcrumbs, and shaped in balls. So, I'm calling these: meatless-balls with eggplants :-)
Note, what I wrote down here is not a translation of the recipe in the magazine. As usual, I'm giving you a step-by-step guide of what I made. With pictures for each step.
As you know, one of the things I like most about my blog, after the cooking... and well, eating what I cook, is taking pictures of my food! I will be sending one of these photos to the Jamie Magazine Italy, which is offering a photography contest.
I have to say, meatballs are not as photogenic as cookies or cakes. No mouthwatering chocolate, no crispy white powder sugar, no colorful pieces of fruit ... Just plain brown meatballs! But these were very delicious, and I hope my pictures shows it!
Now I just need to choose which of my pictures to send. I'm not sure yet.
Any preferences?!?
... Wish me luck :-)

Ingredients: to make about 18 small balls, serving 4               Printable Recipe
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • one large eggplant
  • 1 cup (100 gr) of shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup (100 gr) of bread crumbs, plain
  • 1/2 cup (25 gr) of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup (25 gr) pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 egg
  • a handful of basil leaves
For the sauce:
  • one garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 15 oz (about 440 gr) of crushed tomatoes
Preparation time: 45 minutes

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). In a large skillet or grilling pan, grill the eggplant cut in thin slices. I used two large skillets to make it faster. Season with salt.

Step 2: Cut the grilled eggplants in cubes, and place in a large bowl together with the rest of the ingredients: mozzarella, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, egg and basil (minced).

Step 3: Mix well and roll the mixture in small balls. Place the eggplant balls in an oven pan sprinkled with olive oil, and bake for 15 minutes. Turn them over halfway.

Step 4: In a separate saucepan, cook the olive oil, with the garlic and crushed tomatoes for about 10 minutes. Season with salt, and serve with basil together with the eggplant balls.

Buon Appetito!


  1. I like the second and fourth to last ones... In bocca al lupo for the contest, they look delicious!