Happy Thursday, friends! Personally, I think it feels silly to call a vegetarian recipe anything to do with meat, so let's just say these veggie pasta balls are the cousin to your grandma's Sunday supper. We got some beautiful and oddly shaped eggplant in some boxes this week, and recreating one of our previous recipes, "eggplant meatballs" seemed appropriate.
You need a food processor or a blender for the recipe, adding some slightly cooked eggplant to the machine to pulse it up to create a smaller texture. Then, we combine the mixture with typical staples of an Italian recipe, fresh herbs, bread crumbs, egg and cheese. Adding these eggplant bites to your next pasta recipe will add tons of flavor and texture, but keeps the recipe vegetarian friendly! Let's dive in.
Eggplant Veggie Pasta Balls
1 Perfectly Imperfect eggplant, diced into 1inch pieces, skin on is great
2 Tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil
½ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment or non-stick foil.
2. In a sauté pan, add olive oil, eggplant, and salt & pepper. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the eggplant to soften.
3. Let the cooked eggplant cool for about 5-10 minutes, until it’s cool enough to handle. Transfer to a food processor or blender, and add fresh basil. Pulse 10-12 times, until basil and eggplant are in smaller pieces.
4. In mixing bowl, combine pulsed eggplant mixture with the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic powder, and egg. Stir to combine.
5. Roll into balls, and transfer to baking sheet. Bake the veggie bites for 20 minutes, until they’re firm to the touch and golden brown.
6. You can add these to your favorite marinara sauce, over pasta or rice for an easy dinner! I like to add mine to sauce and slider buns for a vegetarian approved game day snack!
We hope you love this recipe as much as we do, and when you recreate it, share it on Instagram and tag us, @perfectlyimperfectproduce! We love to see what you come up with in the kitchen each week. Thanks for another great week, working to end food waste here in NEO. See you next time!