Pork and veal meatballs with eggplant
Is there a more comforting meal than meatballs? Lovely soft balls of minced pork and veal make a hearty and delicious treat when simmered in a full-flavoured sauce until tender. This dish has many ingredients but should take about 60 minutes to prepare and uses just one pot.
Pork and veal meatballs with almonds and eggplant. Photo: Marina Oliphant
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00g 2-day-old bread, crusts removed
600g minced veal
500g minced pork
90g pecorino, grated
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp fine sea salt
Large handful parsley, finely chopped
180ml extra virgin olive oil
100g blanched almonds
4 Japanese eggplants, cut into strips lengthways 1cm wide
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
250ml white wine
Soak bread in milk for 20 minutes. Squeeze out milk and break bread into rough pieces into a large bowl.
Add veal, pork, pecorino, eggs, nutmeg, salt and half the parsley to the bread pieces and mix well, using your hands. Shape mixture into 36 golf-ball-sized rounds and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover and set aside.
Heat 80ml olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Add almonds, stir until golden and remove with a slotted spoon.
Add another 50ml of oil and cook eggplant over high heat until browned. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towel, season well with salt.
Heat remaining oil in a pan and cook meatballs in batches over a high heat for 2-3 minutes until browned all over, then remove from pan.
Add onion, bay leaves and garlic to pan and saute for 15 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and stir for 1 minute, then add wine and water and bring to the boil.
Add browned meatballs, simmer for 10 minutes.
Add almonds and cook for 20 minutes. Add eggplant, stir through until warm and serve, sprinkled with remaining parsley.