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Polpette Di Melanzane (Eggplant Meatlballs) with Chilli Mayo

Makes approx. 30



500g eggplant, cut into approx. 2-3cm cubes

100g panko crumbs or breadcrumbs (from stale/day-old bread, if used then add a little water)

50g aged Parmesan, grated

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 eggs, whisked

4 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

Ground salt and pepper, to taste

Extra virgin olive oil, as needed

100g fine dry breadcrumbs or panko crumbs

Optional: 2 small red chillies, minced

Chilli mayo

1-2 tsp chilli flakes, plus extra if needed

1 large egg, fresh

1 tbsp white wine vinegar, lemon juice or Dijon mustard

Ground salt and pepper

300ml grapeseed oil, or other neutral flavour oil (*see note)

Note: for an extra chilli hit use combination 250ml grapeseed oil plus 50ml chilli infused olive oil.


Chilli Mayo

  1. Place chilli, vinegar (or juice/mustard) into a stick blender canister. Carefully crack egg gently into the canister, try and keep yolk in-tact. Then add grapeseed oil (or combination oils).

  2. Insert stick blender carefully to completely cover the egg yolk. Turn on blender and as strips or ribbons appear, slowly pull stick blender up and continue to blitz until thick and creamy.

  3. Taste test, add extra chilli flakes if desired.

  4. Spoon into a serving bowl and set aside in the fridge.


  1. Place the eggplant cubes in a large pot of boiling water, add 1 tablespoon salt and boil for about 8-10min until soft. Ensure the eggplant stay submerged under the water to cook evenly.

  2. When eggplant is soft, drain and cool slightly. Using a spoon or small potato masher, press to remove any excess water then thoroughly chop the eggplant pieces.

  3. Place the eggplant into a medium bowl together panko crumbs (or moist breadcrumbs), parmesan, garlic, chillies (optional), eggs and parsley. Mix thoroughly all together. Add ground salt and pepper.

  4. For a taste test and to check for seasoning, heat olive oil in a frying pan and fry a small amount of the mixture. Add extra seasoning if needed.

  5. Roll the remaining mixture into approx 2-3 cm balls and place onto a lined a tray. Add extra breadcrumbs of mixture is still quite wet. Roll each one in the dry breadcrumbs and coat evenly.

  6. Add oil into a wide frying pan to a depth of 1-2 cm and on medium heat. Fry the balls until mid-golden brown and drain on paper towels. Set aside to cool a few minutes.

  7. Serve with chilli mayo and enjoy.


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