Have I mentioned my partiality towards meatballs? Well, here's one of my favorite vegetarian meatball recipes. Borrowed from the restaurant menu of Buca di Bacco in Positano, with kind permission of the entire kitchen staff, an élite group of gourmet chefs to which, years ago for a brief period, I had the honor of belonging.
Ingredients for 4 servings
3 fat eggplants
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoons breadcrumbs
2 tablespoon pecorino Romano, grated
1 sprig fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
More breadcrumbs for dredging
Olive oil for frying
Peel the eggplant and dice. Place in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let sit for 1 hour. This procedure purges the eggplant's potential bitterness.
Rinse well and blanche the eggplant in a large pot of salted water.
Strain the eggplant quite al dente, then press between two plates to remove excess liquid. Chop finely and combine with the egg yolks, breadcrumbs, grated Pecorino, basil and pepper, mixing well with your hands.
Roll the mixture into 2-inch fat patties, dredge in breadcrumbs and drop in boiling hot oil and fry until golden. The amounts indicated should yield about 12 patties, more or less.
Deposit shortly on blotting paper or kitchen towel before wolfing down.
The white wine must be chilled!
Images © Forchettina and Diethood