Monday, January 18, 2016

Eggplant and White Bean Meatballs

Sweet and silky eggplant is a perfect flavor base in these meat-less meatballs. White beans give them an extra protein boost. They're not much harder to throw together than traditional meatballs and they are just as flavorful. The eggplant mixture is also delicious shaped into patties and served as a veggie burger.   Serve on a crusty roll with a little sauce and some fresh mozz - delicious!
recipe developed for Bertolli
photography by Paul Gelsobello Studio
Food Stylist: Cathy Paukner
Prop Sylist: Deborah Ruggieri
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Makes 6 servings

1 large eggplant (about 1-1/2 lbs.) halved lengthwise
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained and mashed
1 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 oz.)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 jar Bertolli® Riserva Marinara Sauce, divided
12 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange eggplant, cut sides down, on lightly oiled baking sheet.  Bake 20 minutes or until very tender; cool slightly.

Scrape flesh from eggplant.   Combine eggplant and beans well.  Stir in bread crumbs, egg, cheese, garlic and salt.  Shape into 18 meatballs.

Arrange meatballs on baking sheet and bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Pour sauce into 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and gently stir in meatballs.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Serve over spaghetti.

Tip:  Use a pastry cutter or potato masher to easily mash beans and to combine eggplant and beans.

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