The recipe of Polpette di Melanzane (Eggplant Meatballs) is easy and quick, perfect for an aperitif or as a second course with vegetables.
This delicious dish is a must of the culinary tradition of Calabria region (Purpetti ‘i mulingiani), but you can find it in Southern Italy, particularly in Sicily, Campania, Puglia, Calabria, where the eggplants abound: used in dozens of recipes (for example Eggplant Parmigiana), it is an ingredient with immense flexibility.
Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, in this recipe the meatballs are fried; it is also possible to prepare the eggplant meatballs with the sauce.
In addition, if desired, you can stuff Polpette di Melanzane (Eggplant Meatballs) with tasty cheese filling, an idea that enriches this simple recipe and makes it even more inviting.
To prepare excellent Eggplant Meatballs, wash the eggplants and prick them with a fork.
Roast them in the oven at 200 ° C for about 50 minutes. Once cooked, take them out of the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut them in half lengthwise and remove the pulp and discard the peel.
Collect the pulp in a colander and let it loose excess moisture, perhaps helping you by placing a weight on it.
Meanwhile soak the stale bread in water. At this point, transfer the well-dried pulp into a bowl and add the slices of soaked and well-wrung bread; knead well with your hands. Also add to the bowl whole eggs, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, salt, peppers, chopped parsley, chopped garlic.
Knead again with your hands and extract from the mixture the balls of the size of a walnut, inserting in the center a cube of Scamorza cheese. Then pass the meatballs in the breadcrumbs.
Heat plenty of oil for frying and dip the meatballs until they have reached a nice gilding.
Remove the meatballs from the oil with a perforated spoon and place them on parchment paper to dry them from excess oil. Serve the meatballs still warm.
We recommend eating the Eggplant Meatballs just ready, but if you wish you can keep them in the fridge, sealed in an airtight container for a couple of days at most.
You can also freeze the raw Eggplant Meatballs and then cook them as needed.
If you want to avoid frying, you can also cook the meatballs in the oven. In this case you can try at 200 ° for 15-20 minutes.