Serves 8 people


For the Eggplant Balls

3 large eggplants (or 4 medium) – peeled and cut in half lengthwise
3 large eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
1/3 cup currants – soaked in warm water
1/3 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs – plus extra  for breading salt and ground black pepper
vegetable oil for deep frying

For the Marinara Sauce

6 cups canned San Marzano plum tomatoes or canned Italian tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch of fresh oregano
salt and pepper

Special Equipment

Basket and pot for deep-frying
Blender or food processor
Bamboo cocktail toothpicks


For the Eggplant Balls

Bring 4 quarts of water to boil. (you can roast eggplant too!) Add eggplant and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Drain eggplant and squeeze out water. Place in clean dishtowel and twist to remove any excess water. Chop eggplant finely.

In bowl mix eggplant, 1 egg, pecorino, mint, currants, pine nuts and breadcrumbs. Mix thoroughly. Add more bread crumbs if mixture to wet. Mixture should be moist.

Shape into balls – 1 1/4 inch thick. Coat balls in egg wash made of remaining eggs. Then roll in breadcrumbs.

Heat vegetable oil in frying pan in hot but no smoking oil. Fry the eggplant balls until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Instead of frying you can pan fry and then finish off in tomato sauce.

For the Marinara Sauce

Poach the garlic cloves in the olive oil over low heat with a pinch of salt and pepper until the garlic begins to brown.  Add the tomatoes and ½ of the basil.  Simmer for about one hour, adding a few tablespoons of water at a time to prevent the sauce from drying out.  Continue to stir as the sauce simmers. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.  Process in blender until smooth.  Chop the remaining basil and add to the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.

Return to pot and bring sauce to simmer. Add eggplant balls and simmer for approx 5-8 minutes to heat through.

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