Everyone knows that when you get a craving for Eggplant Parm, you sort of dread the process of slicing, breading and frying the eggplant. It's the only way - unless you make some meatballs! Crunchy on the outside, tender and full of flavor on the inside. You can make yourself a great sandwich or top these meatballs on your favorite pasta.
3 Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 eggplant, about 12 ounces), peeled and diced
2 Tbsp. water
1-1/4 Italian Style Bread Crumbs
1/2 cup minced fresh Italian Parsley
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup canola oil
Shredded Mozzarella & Provolone Cheese
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet and slowly cook the garlic over medium heat until golden. Add the eggplant and 1 Tbsp. water; cover and steam the eggplant over low heat until very soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add the remaining water only if the eggplant begins to stick to the skillet. Stir the eggplant occasionally while it cooks. Set aside and let it cool.
Combine the bread crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper, oregano, eggs, and cheese in a large bowl. Stir in the eggplant, mix well and let it stand for 20 minutes. Scoop small amounts of the mixture into your hands and form meatballs. There should be enough to make about 12. Roll each meatball in Panko breadcrumbs.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Fry meatballs, turning them occasionally so they brown evenly. Transfer to a baking dish sprayed with olive oil spray and one cup of marinara sauce. Top with mozzarella and provolone cheese. Be sure to leave some of the meatballs exposed to keep them crispy.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melted and browned.