Eggplant Croquettes with Spicy Marinara Sauce
For the Croquettes:
Using a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, salt, and black pepper. Sauté eggplant until it is soft and tender; about 10 to 15 minutes. One minute before eggplant has finished cooking, add garlic and stir to combine. Transfer eggplant to a large glass bowl to cool. Once eggplant has cooled, mix in eggs, 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs, Parmesan and Romano cheeses, and parsley until thoroughly combined. Shape croquettes with your hands into 2-ounce balls. Roll croquettes into remaining breadcrumbs to coat and set aside.
In deep fryer or medium pot, heat sunflower oil to 350°F. Carefully add croquettes into oil a few at a time with a slotted spoon. Fry croquettes until golden brown; 2-3 minutes. Remove croquettes from oil and set aside on a tray lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Repeat until all croquettes are fried and cooked through.
For the Spicy Marinara:
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for a minute. Add 1/2 tablespoon each of fresh basil and parsley. Add chili pepper to taste and sauté for another minute. Be careful not to brown the garlic. Stir in Carmelina ‘e…San Marzano Organic Italian Crushed Tomatoes in Heavy Puree, and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Bring sauce to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to cook sauce for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Carefully add fried croquettes into the pan with the sauce and let simmer together for an additional 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
To serve, dish sauce and croquettes onto a platter or individual serving plate. Garnish with additional cheese, basil and parsley. Mangia bene!
Tip: Save on time with Carmelina ‘e…San Marzano® Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce! Simply heat Carmelina ‘e…San Marzano® Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce in a large, skillet to simmer, add 1 teaspoon of chili pepper flakes for added spice, add eggplant croquettes. Simmer croquettes in sauce over low heat for 10 minutes and serve.
* Recipe created by Corporate Executive Chef Giacomo Pagano on behalf of Mangia, Inc. ™