When times were very hard in Italy many households could only afford meat once a month, so these resourceful Italians used other ingredients to make their regional dishes. Aubergine has a delightfully meaty texture and people discovered they could make meatballs from them, without meat.
Nowadays these meatless balls or dumplings make a great healty dish suitable for vehetareans and meat lovers a like.
1 aubergine, cut into small cubes
handful grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
Fresh tomato sauce and grated Parmesan to serve.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan and quickly cook off the aubergine cubes till lightly golden and then spoon out of pan onto kitchen paper to cool and drain.
Once cool, place in a bowl then add the Parmesan, egg, basil and two-thirds of the breadcrumbs. Mix together well and then roll the mixture into golf ball sized balls.While the balls are still moist, roll them in the remaining breadcrumbs till well coated then place in fridge to rest for an hour.
Put a pan back on the heat and add a little oil. Add the aubergine balls and cook till golden brown.
Serve with tomato sauce.