Collezione Orecchiette with Eggplant & Romano Cheese

For a delicious vegetarian alternative, try this eggplant "meatball" recipe.

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Ingredients for 6 people

  • 1 box Collezione Orecchiette
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and diced
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg white
  • ¾  cup Romano cheese, divided
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, julienne
  • 1 can chopped Italian style tomato
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 10 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 ¼ cups water
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  • In a large skillet, sauté the eggplant with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ¾ cup of water, and salt until soft and moisture is evaporated. Transfer mixture into a bowl then chill.
  • Once chilled completely, use a fork to smash the eggplant into a puree-like substance. Stir in breadcrumbs, egg white, and season with ½ cup of cheese and a bit of salt if needed then chill mixture. Once eggplant mixture has been chilled, roll into 1-inch (golf ball size) balls.
  • Meanwhile, cook onions with remaining oil until soft and translucent, add tomatoes, ½ cup of water and red pepper flakes, simmer for 2 minutes, season.
  • Gently place eggplant balls into sauce and cover them. Cook for 3 more minutes over medium heat (check internal temp).
  • Cook pasta according to directions and then toss with sauce in the skillet.
  • Remove the skillet from the flame and add the remaining cheese and basil, then stir gently to combine.
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