Recipe #1 in my new vegitalian series
The word polpetta (plural polpette) is usually translated into English as ‘meatball’. This is a really bad translation because meat is only one of many ingredients Italians use to make polpette. In Rome, for example, there is a restaurant called Polpetta which serves them made from a variety of ingredients, many of them vegetarian. In fact their menu is topped by the hashtag #tuttoèpolpettabile (#youcanmakepolpettefromanything).
This recipe for aubergine (eggplant) polpette is based on a traditional one from Puglia, the far south-eastern peninsula of Italy and one of my favourite regions both for food, climate, and architecture. The traditional recipe features parmigiano reggiano cheese which is not, strictly speaking, vegetarian but which can be substituted with any hard, vegetarian cheese. In Italy you can now buy artisanal parmigiano-style cheese made with non-animal rennet.
The trick with these polpette is to fry them as gently as possible. In this way, they will absorb very little oil and will have a moist not greasy consistency. You can serve them on their own, as nibbles, with dips, or heated up in the oven in a tomato sauce, which is the traditional way of serving them.
3 aubergines / eggplants 30 grams (1 ounce) parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated (or vegetarian equivalent) 20 capers 1 large egg 350 grams (12 ounces) breadcrumbs salt pepper flour oil for frying
3 aubergines / eggplants
30 grams (1 ounce) parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated (or vegetarian equivalent)
1 large egg
350 grams (12 ounces) breadcrumbs
oil for frying
15 thoughts on “Polpette di melanzana (eggplant balls)”
Delicious! I love aubergines so must give these a go 🙂
Excellent! Let me know how they turn out.
Let me know if you do! Buona cucina!
if you’re not counting the cheese as vegetarian, then the egg isn’t either. but lactose-ovo-vegetarian is definitely a thing. thanks for posting the recipes!
Thanks! I’m glad you like them 🙂 I don’t count the cheese as vegetarian not because of the lactose but because of the animal rennet. ‘Vegetarian’ cheese is made with natural coagulants, such as lemon juice. Some Italian cheese is traditionally vegetarian in this sense, such as ricotta. I’ll be posting a thing about vegetarian cheese in the future.
So glad to see you back. I haven’t received your blog in a long time, though you might have been sending it. Fingers crossed that it will continue to come! I love it!
These polpette di melanzane sound yummy. I made something similar recently, only the melanzana was grilled. Yours sound easier! I will definitely make them again. Buona Pasqua, Cristina
Grilled would have slightly different flavour, perhaps stronger. I will try that next time. I hope you had a great Pasqua. Mine was a bit different this year as you might imagine 🙂
I think we all had a surreal, ‘twilight zone’ Pasqua this year! Ciao and stay safe, Cristina
A friend’s mother made these in a meatball cook-off I went to last year (soon to be a blog for Mother’s Day). Anyway, I thought they were her invention, but now I’ve learned there is a tradition behind vegetarian “meatless meatballs” in Italy. Grazie mille! Will try these with the eggplants from my garden this summer.
I don’t think there is really anything new under the sun! I’d love to see that blog post. Glad you enjoyed the post.
See blog.learntravelitalian.com. Buon divertimento!
I just re-blogged the post I did about meatballs and linked to your blog in the intro. Hope you enjoy it!
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