"Eggplant polpette make a great appetizer because they are bite-size and can be eaten with your fingers. They look exactly like meatballs, and when the budget is tight, Calabrian cooks will simmer them, without the breadcrumb coating, in tomato sauce and serve with pasta as a second course. In parts of Calabria, cooks tuck a cube of caciocavallo cheese inside each meatball." —Rosetta Costantino, cookbook author @rosettacostantino
This recipe originally appeared in our Fall 2021 issue. Get the magazine here.
Variation: Shape the balls but do not coat them with dried breadcrumbs. Fry them in oil as directed, then simmer, uncovered, in 1 1/2 cups of tomato sauce over medium heat for 10 minutes. Spoon meatball mixture over 1 lb. of cooked pasta and sprinkle with freshly grated pecorino.