What can I say, I’ve finally jumped on the Meatless Mondays train. After doing a bit of research about it last night, I found that there are a large number of countries around the globe that support Meatless Mondays in the name of sustainability and an even bigger number of restaurants that subscribe to the movement. Not only does it help promote environmental sustainability and your general health, it also requires you to be creative when putting together your shopping list every week, which is always something that I love doing.
Pretty much every American kid has had spaghetti and meatballs sometime during their lives. It was a staple at my house growing up. My mom would make fresh meatballs and bake them in the oven until they were a perfectly crispy brown on the outside and super tender on the inside. I have some very fond memories of helping her roll out the balls. Mine of course tended to be all over the place in terms of size and I still don’t quite understand how she managed to make them all so perfectly uniform. It must be a mom thing.
- 2 medium eggplants
- 1 1/2 cups Italian style breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano + more for topping
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chopped oregano
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley + more for topping
- 1 package whole wheat spaghetti
- 1 large jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I recommend Newman’s Own Sockarooni)
- 3 tbsp + 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt + pepper to taste
Kitchen Tools: baking sheet, saute pan, food processor, spatula, mixing bowl, stock pot, nonstick spray
Preheat oven to 400*F and get your salted pasta water heating. Cut eggplant into medium-sized chunks (skin on) and arrange on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt + pepper.
Finely chop herbs and combine them with cheese, breadcrumbs and garlic powder in your mixing bowl.
Bake eggplant for 15-10 minutes until fork tender. Lower oven heat to 350*F. Transfer cooked eggplant to food processor. Add egg yolks and pulse until just smooth. Mix eggplant mixture into your bowl of ingredients, making sure that everything is well incorporated. Don’t be afraid to use your hands! Season generously with salt + pepper.
Cook spaghetti to package directions once your water starts boiling. Strain and set aside.
Start forming your eggplant meatballs. Spray your baking sheet with nonstick spray and arrange meatballs about an inch or so apart. Bake at 350*F for about 20 minutes until just browning on the top and firm to the touch.
While your meatballs are in the oven, pour pasta sauce into saute pan and heat up on medium low until it starts to simmer. Remove baked meatballs from oven and carefully place in warmed sauce. Coat meatballs in sauce.
Serve spaghetti topped with sauce and meatballs. Sprinkle on chopped parsley and grated parmesan as desired.