Eggplant Parm “Meatballs”
Makes 16 “meatballs”, serves 4
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon fine grain salt
A pinch of ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 cup almond meal (or gluten-free breadcrumbs)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 (25 oz / 700 gr) jar tomato sauce
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºF) and place a rack in the middle. Lightly grease with olive oil a large rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and ¼ cup of water. Cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, until eggplant has softened.
Place in the bowl of a food processor (or blender) and puree until smooth.
Transfer to a large bowl, add almond meal (or breadcrumbs), egg, 4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, basil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Scoop one tablespoon of eggplant mixture and with dampened hands roll tightly into balls.
Transfer to prepared baking sheet and bake until firm and browned, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Return the skillet to the heat and add tomato sauce. Add “meatballs”, spoon a bit of tomato on top of each “meatball”, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese, and simmer for 5 minutes until heated through. Alternatively place the skillet under the broiler for 2 minutes until the cheese has melted.
Garnish with basil and serve.
One serving yields 332 calories, 23 grams of fat, 19 grams of carbs, 13 grams of protein.