Eggplant Meatballs & Zucchini Pasta

Back at it again with a yummy vegetarian dinner! You’re going to be amazed how easy these meatballs are to make yet how filling and hearty with no meat. Plus, I serve them in a ricotta tomato sauce over my favorite go-to, zucchini noodles. If you don’t have a noodle spiralizer, run to your nearest Marshall’s, they have them for like $5…I’ll wait right here and try not to eat all this cheese!

What you’ll need:
  • A food processor/Magic Bullet
  • Vegetable noodle spiralizer – I have one like this and it works just fine, but they do make fancy ones too.
  • 2 large/medium saute pans
  • Baking tray or oven-safe dish (large enough to hold your meatballs)
  • The rest of the obvious utensils you need to cook/eat with
Eggplant meatballs
Ingredients – Enough to serve 2 with some left overs
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 unpeeled eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces –  Just pick a normal sized one, you’ll want about 1.25 pounds. Fun fact, they are called aubergines here in London for what we can tell no apparent reason.
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • About a half cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese – You’ll need more for putting on top to serve. Also, I totally don’t actually measure the cheese, just put as much as you need. Cause,…cheese ❤
  • A bit of chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1 jar tomato sauce of your choice
  • About a cup or 2 of chopped fresh mushrooms (optional)
  • About a half package of ricotta cheese
  • 3 unpeeled and washed zucchinis  – OR if your local market sells pre-noodled zucchini, you’re welcome to get a package or 2 of that. I just find sometimes those are a bit mushy unless they make them that day.

Okay, it may look like a lot of ingredients but really very few steps. Once you’ve made the meatball mixture its all downhill from there!

The Steps
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Place olive oil into one of your large nonstick skillets over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and 1/4 cup water. Season with the salt and pepper to taste and stir until tender (about 10 to 12 minutes).
  3. Transfer cooked eggplant to your food processor and pulse a few times.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and add bread crumbs, beaten egg, grated Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic and chopped basil into the eggplant. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Roll your eggplant mixture into balls about 1-2 inches wide. Spray the baking sheet with oil and transfer your meatballs.
  6. Bake until firm and browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. Chop off the ends of your zucchinis and spiralize into the second large skillet. (When you get to the end it gets a little difficult, I chop these into small pieces and add in or save for another recipe.) Add in a bit of olive oil and saute on medium-high heat until soft (less than 10 minutes). This is also where I add the chopped mushrooms but you can leave them out if you’re not a fan!
  8. Begin heating the sauce in the first skillet you used for the eggplant. Return the cooked meatballs to the sauce and add in the ricotta and simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Pour over the cooked zucchini noodles, garnish with basil leaves as desired and serve with more freshly grated Parmesan.
  10. ENJOY!
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