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Eggplant and Porcini Mushroom “Meatballs”

Pairs well with the
Cantina Mesa BUIO BUIO


  • 1 medium eggplant, skin on, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup canned white beans
  • 1 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs or Panko
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 0.35 oz dried porcini mushrooms + ½ cup warm water to reconstitute
  • ¼ cup reserved porcini mushroom water, once reconstituted
  • ¼ cup pecorino romano cheese, grated 
  • Cooking spray
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • * Favorite tomato sauce, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  • In a small bowl, reconstitute the mushrooms in warm water for 15 minutes. Set them aside.
  • In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, ¼ of the mushroom water, salt, and pepper. Sauté 8-10 min, until tender.
  • Roast the eggplant in the oven on a sprayed baking sheet. Spritz the chopped eggplant with cooking spray, too. Bake for 12-15 minutes until soft.
  • Transfer the cooked mushrooms and eggplant to a food processor. Add the beans, parsley, and garlic.
  • Pulse a few times until the ingredients are combined but not smooth. Do not overblend.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the egg, breadcrumbs, and cheese. To keep vegan, replace the egg with extra virgin olive oil and omit the cheese.
  • Gently mix all the ingredients together using a soft spatula, or even better, your hands.
  • Form the mixture into 10 to 12 meatballs. Bake them on a tray for 20-25 minutes until brown and cooked through. You can check for doneness by inserting a knife into the center of the meatball. If it comes out clean, they are ready. 
  • Remove the meatballs from the oven and serve them with your favorite tomato sauce. Garnish with fresh basil, parsley, and grated cheese.

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