Video: Aubergine ‘Polpette’: vegetarian meatballs that look like croquettes

The polpette di melanzane are an example of the best Italian cuisine of subsistence. Typical of Calabria and other regions of southern Italy, they manage to satisfy hungry stomachs and fine palates alike using just a few of the most basic ingredients: aubergine, stale bread, grated cheese and egg. Garlic and parsley liven up the party, and frying ends up turning these meatballs, similar to croquettes or fritters, into a festival.

So that no Italian can insult us for not preparing them exactly as they are made in his town, we asked Vittorio Cicero to teach us how to cook them. This Calabrian is the owner of the wonderful delicatessen and bakery Friend from Barcelona, ​​and his meatball-aubergine knowledge comes from his grandmother. to the pests of “If they don’t have meat, they’re not meatballs” We invite you to travel to deep Calabria, Campania or Sicily to discuss this topic, to see if you come across someone who will put you in your place.



for 4 people

  • 4 eggplants
  • 3 slices of dry bread (if not, of the day)
  • 1 egg
  • 200 g of grated pecorino cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and black pepper


  1. Put the bread to soak in a bowl of water.
  2. Cut the aubergines into thin sticks of approximately the same size, and cook them in plenty of boiling salted water for about 25 minutes.
  3. Drain the aubergines well, crushing them with your hands so that they release as much liquid as possible (see video). Do the same with the bread.
  4. Mix the bread with the minced garlic, the parsley, the egg, the pecorino cheese and knead.
  5. Salt, add the aubergines, mix and leave to rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
  6. Form balls with your hands and fry in abundant hot oil.
  7. Let them drain on kitchen paper and serve, if you like, with a salad of tomato, basil, oregano, olive oil and salt.


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