For 2 Dozen(s)
For the Eggplant Balls:
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 large egg
- 3 slices Italian bread (about 4oz) torn into pieces
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 basil Leaves, minced
- 6 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs, plus more for rolling
- 5 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
- 5 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiani Cheese
- 4 ounces fresh Mozzarella, cut up into 1/2 inch cubes
- extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
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- Preheat your oven to 400F degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the whole eggplant onto the baking sheet and roast for 40-50 minutes. Slice the eggplant open and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
- Mash the flesh with a fork and then pass the flesh through a fine mesh strainer using the back of a spoon to push it through and strain out all the seeds.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle with extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Add the torn bread to a bowl along with the water. Using your hands mash the bread until all the water is absorbed and the bread becomes a paste.
- To the strained eggplant flesh add the soaked bread, egg, garlic, basil, breadcrumbs and cheese. Mix until everything is incorporated and the mixture holds its shape. If the mixture is too soft add one tablespoon of breadcrumbs at a time.
- Roll the mixture into 21 balls about the size of a walnut. Using your finger make a hole in each ball and insert a piece of mozzarella. Close up the ball adding a bit more eggplant mixture if necessary. Roll each ball in breadcrumbs and place them on the baking sheet.
- Drizzle each ball with extra Virgin Olive Oil. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the eggplant balls are nicely browned, especially on the bottom. Serve immediately.