For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been in quite the creative slump. So I’ve mainly been focusing on testing recipes from cookbooks I love. Today I made Eggplant Dumplings Alla Parmigiana from Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage’s book, Flavor.
Of course, like most directions in life, I took this recipe as a suggestion and riffed on it a bit.
- 90g fresh breadcrumbs, ideally sourdough (ie, from 2-3 slices)
- 3 eggplants, roasted and peeled, cut up into a mash (about 2-3 cups)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- 100g ricotta
- 75g parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve
- 4½ tbsp parsley leaves, finely chopped, divided
- 1 whole egg, plus 1 extra yolk
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp of ghee
For the sauce
- 2 cups of crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp of crushed garlic
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
Roast your eggplant with olive oil, salt & pepper at 180C (160C fan)/390F for about 20-30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool, 20 minutes or so. After they’re cool, cut them up into a chunky mash.
Mix in the ricotta, parmesan, half of the parsley, egg, extra yolk, flour, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt & pepper. With lightly oiled hands, shape the mixture into small balls.
Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large, nonstick frying pan on a medium-high flame, and fry half the dumplings for three to four minutes, turning them until golden brown all over (adjust the heat if they’re browning too much), then transfer to a plate and repeat with the rest of the dumplings.
Heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil in the same pan, fry the remaining garlic for a minute, until fragrant, then stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, chili, oregano, a teaspoon of salt, and a good grind of pepper. Allow it to reduce and cook add the dumplings. Top with parmesan cheese and the rest of the parsley.
Overall this recipe is a little on the nose in my opinion. It’s really similar to meatballs but you just swap out the meat for eggplant. The taste is really delicious. You can toss this with some pasta and you have spaghetti and meatballs!