There is nothing like a good bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, and with this recipe we can even have it covered with cheese!
Whenever I’m trying to imitate an ingredient, I always take into account texture, flavors, and appearance. Made correctly, these meatballs have a texture similar to real ground beef, and you can experiment with cutting the mushrooms into different sizes to get the perfect feel. I also added smoked paprika, which has a smoky flavor that reminds us of beef. Lastly, of course, if it looks like a meatball, it must be a meatball!
And to all you vegetarians out there…you’re welcome. —Yossi

1 eggplant
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 mushrooms, finely diced
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 tablespoons Unger’s Bread Crumbs
1½ teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon basil
Pinch of coriander
Pinch of smoked paprika
Pinch of chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
Oil, for frying
Serving Suggestions
Tuscanini Marinara sauce
Spaghetti or zoodles
Grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Slice the eggplant in half and broil for 10-15 minutes, or until the top is charred and the inside scoops out easily,
  2. Scoop the eggplant flesh onto a cutting board, and chop it up so it is not stringy. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  3. Heat oil in a sauté pan, Add in chopped mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and toss with the chopped eggplant. Add in bread crumbs and spices.
  4. Mix well and form into balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking tray.
  5. Refrigerate for a minimum of 20 minutes. (You can refrigerate it overnight as well—just keep it in a sealed pan or container.)
  6. Heat canola oil in a pan. You want to shallow-fry these, so the oil should fill the pan about ⅓ of the way up.
  7. Remove the meatballs from the fridge and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy.
  8. Toss in marinara sauce and serve over spaghetti. Grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the top.


Yield: 2 servings

For more great recipes, check out this weeks issue of Whisk by Ami