Eggplant Balls in Tomato Sauce

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PRESENTATION

Eggplant Balls in Tomato Sauce

Eggplant balls are an irresistible treat to enjoy when they are in season. If the idea of frying, however, does not excite you, here is an excellent alternative: eggplant meatballs in tomato sauce! These soft bites are browned in a pan and then plunged into a simple tomato sauce that you will have cooked separately. You will thus obtain a tasty main course based on vegetables that will not make anyone miss the classic meatballs in tomato sauce! You can serve the eggplant meatballs with sauce alone, accompanied by a slice of bread, or use them as a condiment for pasta to make, for example, spaghetti with vegetarian balls.

If you liked this recipe, don't miss the ricotta meatballs, equally saucy and genuine!

INGREDIENTS

For about 20 balls
Eggplant 14.1 oz (400 g)
Breadcrumbs 2 ½ cups (70 g)
Grana Padano PDO cheese 1.8 oz (50 g) - to grate
Garlic 1 clove
Parsley to taste
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Fine salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
For the sauce
Tomato puree 2.1 cups (500 g)
Garlic 1 clove
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Fine salt to taste
For garnish
Basil to taste
Preparation

How to prepare Eggplant Balls in Tomato Sauce

To make the eggplant balls in tomato sauce, start with the tomato sauce: in a small pot, heat the oil with a clove of garlic in its skin, then pour in the tomato puree 1 and enough water to rinse the jar, then add salt 2. Stir and cook covered on low heat for 30-40 minutes 3.

In the meantime, prepare the eggplants: first cut them into slices 4, then into sticks 5, and finally into cubes 6.

In a non-stick pan, sauté a crushed garlic clove with a drizzle of oil, then add the eggplants 7 and salt. Brown the eggplants over high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often 8. When they are soft and colored, transfer the eggplants to a bowl and let them cool. Once cooled, add the breadcrumbs 9.

Also add the grated Grana Padano PDO 10 and chopped parsley 11, then season with salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to get a soft and compact mixture 12.

Form balls about the size of a walnut; with these quantities, you will get about twenty 13. To help, you can wet your hands. Heat another drizzle of oil in the same pan where you cooked the eggplants, then place the balls 14 and brown them for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan to turn them on all sides 15.

When they are evenly golden, add the tomato sauce 16 and briefly toss everything to combine the meatballs with the sauce 17. Garnish with basil leaves and serve your eggplant balls in tomato sauce 18!

How to store

Eggplant balls in tomato sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days in an airtight container.

You can freeze them either raw or cooked. If you freeze the cooked meatballs with the sauce, we recommend gratinating them in the oven with a sprinkle of cheese, otherwise, they will lose consistency.

Tips

You can flavor the eggplant balls with cumin, mustard, and lemon zest, or you can add a pinch of chili pepper!

For a softer texture, you can replace the breadcrumbs with blended stale bread.