On our very first episode of The Today's Mama Podcast we asked Angela Santomero, creator of shows like Blue's Clues and Daniel Tiger's neighborhood what her "ratatouille" or the smell of her childhood was. She said Italian food (and she shared her family favorite recipe with us)!
Eggplant Meatballs recipe from the kitchen of Angela Santomero:
2 eggplants (med size)
1 teaspoon flax mixed with ¼ cup warm water
1 ¼ cup plain GF oats or breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
3 large basil leaf, chopped
5-6 cloves FRESH garlic, minced
¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Slice eggplants in ½ without removing the skin & put them on a metal sheet, skin side down & spice with 2 tsp garlic powder & 1 tsp salt. Roast for 30 mins at 350 degrees, flip eggplant over & roast for another 30 mins. Remove from oven, scoop out with a spoon & slice into 1.5” pieces
Preheat the oven (convection roast) to 400 degrees. Convection makes a very crispy meatball—similar to frying. You can fry them in a cast iron pan with a little olive oil if you prefer.
Brown the minced garlic over medium heat with olive oil. Don’t let it burn.
Place the meat in a large mixing bowl with the garlic & all other ingredients and mix with your hands. Keep it moist but not overly moist, so if you need more oats or water, go right ahead.
Form the mixture into balls 1½“ in diameter. If your hands get very sticky, simply wet them with a few drops of water. Arrange the meatballes on a shallow metal pan, lightly oiled. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the meatballs & return to the oven for another 5 mins. Cooking about 30 minutes—until they are crispy brown on the outside. Either place them in a pot of gravy (or as Americans call it, sauce) or serve as is. Soaking them in gravy keeps them moist though.
Yields about 24 meatballs.