Polpette di Melanzane (Eggplant "Meatballs")

Posted in: Eggplant


  • 2 large eggplants, peeled and cut into quarters lengthwise
  • 2 ounces of stale Italian bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons pecorino-romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped to yield 1/4 cup
  • 1⁄2 cup bread, crumbs
  • 3 ounces of caciocavallo cheese(stringy Italian semi-soft cheese)
  • 1⁄2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for frying


Wash, peel, and cube eggplant. In a large pot, bring water to a full boil, add salt and the eggplant cubes. Cook for about 4 minutes at full boil. Drain the eggplant using a fine mesh colander. Discard the liquid and let cool. Place all the eggplant pulp in a cheese-cloth and remove as much excess water as possible. Place in a large bowl. Add grated stale Italian bread, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons Pecorino-Romano cheese, garlic and parsley. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon at first. Form eggplant mixture into little balls about the size of a golf ball. Poke hole in center. Fill with a cube of Caciocavallo cheese. Press mixture over the filling. Roll the ball lightly in the bread crumbs. Place into hot oil and fry until brown on all sides and eggplant is cooked all the way through. Place on paper towels to drain. Serve with (spicy) tomato sauce on the side for dipping.