Aubergine polpette

by Ursula Ferrigno

Italian-inspired veggie patties from Ursula Ferrigno

These ostensibly meaty patties are ideal for vegetarians, and taste divine. Use as much basil as you like, or you could of course substitute flat-leaf parsley. Serve the polpette and tomatoes on a bed of wild rocket, with some extra basil if you like. 


For the polpette:
2 medium aubergines, finely diced
3 tbsp olive oil
Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
2 large eggs, beaten
75g parmesan, freshly grated
30g pecorino, freshly grated
200g mozzarella, cut into tiny dice
300g fine dried breadcrumbs
100g pine kernels, roughly chopped
A generous handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

For the roast tomatoes:
200g cherry tomatoes (preferably pomodorini)
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp clear honey
Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
2 tbsp olive oil


Put the aubergine into a colander, mix in 2 tsp salt, and leave for 20 mins. Rinse well and squeeze dry. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and stir-fry the aubergine, in batches if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 200C. In a large bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients for the polpette into the fried aubergine. Season with salt and pepper, then form the mixture into walnut-sized balls. Arrange these on an oiled baking tray.

Halve the cherry tomatoes, and spread them on a separate baking tray. Scatter with all the seasonings, as well as some salt and pepper.

Cook the polpette on a shelf above the tomatoes for 10-15 mins, until golden brown. The tomatoes should roast in about the same time. Serve hot.

Recipe: Ursula Ferrigno