Eggplant Polpette - Eggplant Meatballs / Polpette di Melanzane
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 25 to 30 polpette
  • 2½ pounds of eggplant, select medium sized eggplant with shiny deep purple skin free of bruising
  • ¾ cup of dried breadcrumbs
  • 1½ cup grated Parmigiano
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup Italian parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup of dried breadcrumbs for coasting the polpette
  • Salt Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 cup of either corn, canola or sunflower oil for frying the polpette
  • Parsley sprigs for garnishing the serving platter
  1. Preheat your broiler to high, adjust the top shelf to the second level from the top. Line a heavy duty baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Wash and dry the whole eggplants, make 5 or 6 slits in the skin of both. Place the eggplant on the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven. After 30 minutes, turn the eggplant over and continue to char for an additional 30 minutes. At this point the eggplants should be nicely charred all the way around. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set the eggplant in a colander over a bowl or in the sink. Break open the skin and allow any residual water to drain. Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and place it into a large mixing bowl. Using a table fork, break up the larger pieces of eggplant flesh creating a uniform consistency.
  3. Add the chopped parsley leaves, parmigiano, ¾ cup of dried breadcrumbs, salt, freshly ground black pepper and a large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Combine the ingredients gently with a fork and make a well in the center. Add the 2 large eggs to the well, gently breaking them up with a fork. Begin to combine the eggs with the contents of the bowl until you have a rather thick mixture. If it seems too wet, add a bit more dried bread crumbs, but be sure to adjust the salt, pepper and nutmeg if you include additional dried breadcrumbs. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to set.
  4. Remove the polpette mixture from the refrigerator, have the cup of dried breadcrumbs on a sheet of parchment or large plate along with a clean tray to place the formed polpette on.
  5. Using your hands, take enough of the mixture to make a 2 inch ball. Once a ball or polpette is formed, place it in the breadcrumbs, flattening to make a little pattie. Cover both sides lightly with the dried breadcrumbs and place on the tray. Once you have formed and coated all of the polpette, place the tray in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  6. Heat the cup of oil in a large heavy duty skillet over medium high heat; have a paper towel lined platter nearby. Once the oil has become hot place the polpette into the skillet of hot oil without crowding them. Fry the polpette for two minutes on each side and remove to the paper towel lined platter. Remove the polpette to a serving tray and garnish with parsley sprigs. They may be enjoyed immediately or served at room temperature.
Recipe by LaBellaSorella at