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
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
Tuscanini Marinara sauce
Spaghetti or zoodles
Grated Parmesan cheese
- Slice the eggplant in half and broil for 10-15 minutes, or until the top is charred and the inside scoops out easily,
- Scoop the eggplant flesh onto a cutting board, and chop it up so it is not stringy. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- 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.
- Mix well and form into balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking tray.
- Refrigerate for a minimum of 20 minutes. (You can refrigerate it overnight as well—just keep it in a sealed pan or container.)
- 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.
- Remove the meatballs from the fridge and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy.
- Toss in marinara sauce and serve over spaghetti. Grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the top.
Yield: 2 servings