Since I love meatballs so much, I started experimenting with various vegetables so I would have options for guests. This eggplant parmesan version is really good.
1 Large Eggplant, Sliced in Half (Leave Skin On);1 Large Egg, Lightly Beaten;1 ½ Cups Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs; ½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated; 2 Tbsp. Minced Garlic; 2 Tbsp. Dried Parsley; ¼ Cup Pesto (see Recipe or purchase premade); 1 Tsp. Salt & ½ Tsp. Black Pepper
2 Cups Marinara Sauce (see Recipe in Sugo section)
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place the eggplant on top (skin side down). Use a fork to prick the eggplant several times, then place the eggplant in the oven and roast it until it has completely softened, approx. 40 minutes. When ready, remove from the oven and let the eggplant cool. When cooled, scoop the roasted eggplant away from the skin and place in a large bowl. (Discard the skin). Add the beaten egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, dried parsley, pesto, salt and pepper. Using an ice cream scoop, measure out the eggplant balls, and hand roll each ball into a round shape. Place the eggplant balls on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approx. 15-20 minutes, or until balls are firm. Meanwhile, warm up the marinara sauce. Add the warmed eggplant balls in the marinara sauce mixture and cook for approx. 10 minutes. When ready to serve, place the eggplant balls on a dish and top with shredded mozzarella (the mozzarella should melt from the heat of the eggplant ball).