Eggplant “Meatballs” Over Rigatoni

Eggplant “Meatballs” Over Rigatoni

      Eggplant “Meatballs” Over Rigatoni


Eggplant “Meatballs” Over Rigatoni

I call my Eggplant “Meatballs” Over Rigatoni Italian Comfort Food! So I came across a super yummy recipe for vegetarian “meatballs” made with eggplant and beans in a Martha Stewart post! I changed the recipe up a bit to make the “meatballs” firmer; I added broccoli rapini and artichoke hearts to the bottled sauce to make this dish healthier; and I spiced it up a bit more with a generous dollop of my favorite garlic pepper condiment from DeLallo! Serve the eggplant “meatballs” over a good organic Rigatoni. OMG, My Eggplant “Meatballs” Over Rigatoni has become the preferred Italian comfort food! Must enjoy with a good dry wine!

1 pound organic Rigatoni 

1 jar organic pasta sauce

Water to thin the sauce

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

1/2 bunch organic rapini, chopped

1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1/4 jar hot pepper garlic sauce, DeLallo

1 organic eggplant, sliced thick

1 can organic Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons minced oregano

1/2 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese

3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs 

1 large egg, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

1 teaspoon Tuscan seasoning, Frontier

In a large fry pan, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil to medium high

Sauté the rapini and garlic sauce

Add the artichokes and jarred sauce and water to thin, simmer

In a large mixing bowl add 2 tablespoons olive oil, oregano and garlic

Place the eggplant rounds on a baking sheet

Broil or bake on high for 7 minutes on each side until very brown(charred)

Transfer the eggplant to the bowl with seasoned olive oil and toss

Cover the bowl and set aside for 10 minutes

Transfer the eggplant mixture to a food processor 

Add the beans, cheese, Panko and spices

Pulse a few times then transfer to a large bowl 

Add more Panko if needed to firm up the mixture

Form mixture into medium sized balls, around 15-16

Place the balls on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil

Bake on high or broil for 20 minutes until firm and browned

Transfer the balls to the simmered sauce 

In the meantime boil the rigatoni in salted water in a large stockpot until al dente, drain

Reserve more than 1 cup of the cooking water

Transfer the rigatoni to a large serving bowl 

Add the sauce with“meatballs”

Add reserved cooking liquid if needed

Serve with extra Parmesan cheese

Enjoy with a dry wine and crisp salad

Just delicious!

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