- 2 large brinjals, roasted
- 220 g breadcrumbs
- 80 g pine nuts, toasted
- 30 g Grana Padano, finely grated
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 small red chillies, finely chopped
- 2 free-range eggs, beaten
- 3 T Italian parsley, finely chopped
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- extra virgin olive oil, for shallow frying
- lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat the oven to 180°C and roast the brinjals for 30 minutes.
Remove the brinjals from the oven, allow to cool slightly and scoop out the flesh. Press the flesh into a sieve to remove excess liquid, then chop and place into a bowl with 100 g breadcrumbs, the pine nuts, Grana Padano, garlic, chillies, eggs and parsley. Mix with a fork and season. If the mixture is too wet, add more breadcrumbs.
Shape into small balls of about 8 cm in size and roll in the remaining breadcrumbs.
Shallow fry until golden brown. Once cooked through and golden, transfer onto a tray lined with kitchen paper to drain. Serve with the lemon wedges.
Cook's note: Nineteenth-century Milan was renowned for its polpette – not meatballs, but rather savoury stuffing wrapped in meat or veggies. Breadcrumbs, pine nuts and brinjals combine to make this vegetarian version especially delectable.