Polpette di melanzane – aubergine fritters

6
60 minutes

Ingredients

Polpette di melenzane

  • 250g of stale bread, white
  • 500g of large aubergines, halved
  • 100g of pecorino, grated (or use a similar cheese using vegetarian rennet, if preferred)
  • 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (a small bunch will do)
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • fine sea salt, as needed
  • freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • extra virgin olive oil, for deep-frying

Method

1
To begin, soak the bread in some water and set aside for 10 minutes, until softened. Drain the bread, squeezing out any excess liquid, and crumble into a large bowl. Set aside
2
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the aubergines and blanch for 10–15 minutes, until tender all the way through. Drain and leave to cool on a plate. Squeeze out any excess liquid (this is crucial, you want them just barely wet at the end of the squeezing process), then mince very finely with a sharp knife
3
Place the minced aubergines in the bowl with the bread. Add the grated pecorino, parsley, grated garlic, eggs, salt and pepper and mix until evenly combined. Shape the meatballs using your hands, giving them a sort of oblong, oval shape
4
Finally, fill a frying pan three-quarters full with olive or sunflower oil, and set over a medium heat. When the oil is hot (170–180°C), add the meatballs. Fry in batches until dark-brown and cooked through, for about 4 minutes. Drain with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper
5
Allow to cool slightly, then eat while still hot