Eggplant and Porcini Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Eggplant and Porcini Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Eggplant and Porcini Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • 1

    large eggplant

  • 1

    ounce dried porcini mushrooms

  • boiling water

  • 1/4

    cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1

    small onion, minced

  • 4

    garlic cloves, finely grated

  • Two

    28-ounce cans imported whole Italian tomatoes, seeded and pureed with their juices

  • 2

    tablespoons chopped basil plus leaves for garnish

  • salt and pepper

  • 3

    cups fresh bread crumbs

  • 2

    large eggs, beaten

  • 2

    ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving

  • 1

    tablespoon flatleaf parsley

  • flour for coating

  • oil for frying

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Prick the eggplant all over with a fork and set it on a baking sheet. Roast in the center of the oven for 1 hour until very soft and collapsed. Let cool slightly, then scrape the eggplant flesh into a large bowl and let cool completely. Discard the skin. 2. Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, cover the porcini with 1 1/2 cups boiling water and let stand until softened, 30 minutes; drain, reserving the soaking liquid. Rinse the porcini to remove any grit. Finely chop them. 3.In an enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and half of the garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree and pour in the porcini soaking liquid, stopping before reaching the grit; bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring, until thickened, 1 hour. Add half of the chopped basil and season with salt and pepper. 4. Fold the chopped porcini, breadcrumbs, eggs, 2 ounces of hte cheese, parsley and the remaining garlic and chopped basil into the eggplant. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. 5. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Form the eggplant mixture into twenty 1 3/4 inch balls, rolling tightly. Dust the balls with flour and refrigerate for 20 minutes. 6. In a large nonstick skillet, heat hte 1/2 inch of oil. Add half of the meatballs at a time and cook over moderately high heat turning occassionally, until browned all over, about 8 mintues. Drain on paper towels. Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with basil leaves and serve with crusty bread and grated cheese.

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