Ottolenghi created a real game-changer when it comes to meatballs. These eggplant dumplings are an absolute winner and even meat lovers can’t resist them!
The British / Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi published this and many more stunning recipes in his newest cookbook FLAVOUR. Ottolenghi is known for his innovative vegetable dishes and this one sure deserves a medal.
The eggplant dumplings are made from eggplants, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, flour, eggs, fresh basil, parsley and spiced with herbs. Although it’s a heavy meal, eggplants themselves are very low in calories. Eggplants are rich in antioxidants, fibers, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and more. Besides their healthy character, they add a rich flavor to any dish. When roasting eggplants you get this smokey taste, combined with the vegetable’s sweet and bitter taste, it’s really delicious.
It can take quite some time to prepare the dish, but that is especially because the eggplants need to roast first and cool down before you can roll them into dumplings. This recipe is absolutely worth the effort and time, but we suggest you prepare it in advance if you have people coming over for dinner. The tomato sauce you could even prepare a day in advance. You could also start roasting the eggplant before you really want to start cooking.
If you want to impress friends and family, this dish is a 100% pleaser to everyone on the table!
Ottolenghi’s eggplant dumplings alla parmigiana
- 80 grams breadcrumbs
- 4 eggplants
- 150 ml olive oil
- 100 gram ricotta
- 75 grams grated parmesan cheese
- 10 grams parsley
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1½ tbsp flour
- 6 garlic cloves
- 15 grams fresh basil leaves
- 1½ can roma tomatoes pureed
- 1½ tsp tomato paste
- 1½ tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp chiliflakes
- 2 tsp paprika powder
- 2 tsp fresh oregano chopped
- 45 grams kalamata olives pitted (without stone)
- Pre-heat the oven for 160°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add te breadcrumbs on top. Spread it out and bake it in the oven for 12 minutes until light brown. Meanwhile cut the eggplants in cubes of 2 cm. When the breadcrumbs are dry and brown, let it cool down outside the oven and turn up the heath to 220 degrees.
- Add the eggplant cubes to the baking sheet and pour over 75 ml olive oil. Mix it all up and season with sea salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown. Flip them halfway to get this yummy bron skin on all sides.
- While the eggplants are getting roasted you can start making the tomato sauce. Heat up 2 table spoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the 3 garlic cloves and let it bake for 1 minute. Add the pureed tomatoes and the tomato paste, sugar, chili flakes, paprika powder, sea salt, oregano, pepper. Stir it all well together and let it cook for 8 minutes. Add 400 ml of water and bring it to a boil for about 10 minutes to thicken the sauce. Meanwhile you can start with the next step if the eggplants are finished.
- Chop the eggplants into puree and put in a bowl. Let it cool down in the fridge for 20 minutes. Once the puree is cooled down add the ricotta , parmesan, parsley, egg, egg yolk, flour, breadcrumbs, 10 grams of basil leaves cut with the hands and 3 garlic cloves. Season with pepper and sea salt an and mix it up.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and put it aside the bowl with the eggplant mixture. Grease your hands with oil and start to make balls in the size of a golfball. Put them on the baking tray.
- Bring two table spoons of olive oil to a heath in a large skillet with an anti-stick coating. Bake the dumplings in two batches for about 15 minutes in total until brown on each side.
- Pour the tomato sauce into a large baking dish. Add the balls to the sauces and transfer into the oven for 20 minutes until the sauce starts to bubble. Take it from the oven and garnish with the rest of the basil and grated parmesan cheese. Serve with pasta or rice.