This version of traditional meatballs, made with eggplant rather than meat, is a typical Calabrian appetizer and is quite easy to prepare.
By Jovina Coughlin
- 1 lb eggplant
- 1 egg
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- 1 ¾ oz Pecorino cheese, grated
- Vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
- Tomato Sauce, optional
- Peel the eggplants, cut them in half, put them into a pot and cover with water.
- Bring the water to a boil and cook for about 45 minutes; drain and cool.
- Mix the bread crumbs with the chopped garlic, parsley, basil, grated cheese and salt.
- Squeeze out the eggplants and mash them with the bread crumb mixture and the whole egg, mixing until thoroughly combined.
- Shape this mixture into elongated, fairly flat ovals and fry them in vegetable oil. Drain.
- These may be served hot or cold and, if desired, covered with a spicy tomato sauce.
I was born in New Jersey to first generation Italian parents. Both sets of my grandparents were born in Italy and emigrated to the United States in the early 1900s. They brought with them a love of the Italian culture and cooking. I have 2 brothers and 1 sister. I learned many of my cooking skills from my parents and grandparents, but I also studied Italian cooking and made many of the recipes for my children as they were growing up. I am married with three children and six grandchildren. Besides New Jersey, I have lived in Pennsylvania, Michigan and now on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Masters of Science Degree and I have taught high school English and special education. I have also been an administrator in the public schools at the district and county levels. Now that I am retired from the teaching profession, I have the time to write a blog and share my information about Italian American cooking and culture. Because I am a teacher by trade, I feel that I have the skills to share with readers the techniques for preparing authentic and healthy meals.