You’ll fall in love with these Italian eggplant patties in a rich, but simple tomato sauce.
I’ve wanted to share this recipe for quite a while now and the time has finally come!
This recipe is an adaptation of my mum’s best friends Anna’s recipe. She’s a great cook and as an Italian woman, she makes all the classics that make you want to drool!
I loved these eggplant patties before I became vegan. I haven’t had them since becoming vegan and have wanted to recreate them in a way that will still be satisfying.
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Anna was generous enough to share this recipe with me a few months ago and have played around with the ingredients to make it work as a vegan recipe.
The pressure was on, but I’m delighted with how they’ve turned out!
Eggplant patties that a freezer and fridge-friendly
These patties are so easy to make and can be a great recipe to have when you need some freezer-friendly options. Just thaw them out and pop them in the oven for 5-10 minutes on either side. Alternatively, fry them lightly on some oil.
The other great thing about these eggplant patties is that they can stay in the fridge for up to 3 days and you can have them for lunch and dinner, mixing it up every day.
I’m one of those people that would comfortably eat a dish like this cold, straight out of the fridge. I think that they get even better with age!
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Ways to eat Italian eggplant patties
They’re great served with some nice thick Italian bread, a side of brown rice and with a fresh, simple salad. My personal favourite is having these patties with a rocket salad with crushed walnuts. Simple, but so so delicious.
They have a lot of flavour on their own but can also be a little dry—so that’s why they work so great with this tomato sauce. You only need a couple of tablespoons for each pattie.
The reason I’ve called them rustic is that I like keeping the eggplant in chunks. You can pop all the pattie ingredients into a food processor and make it a more consistent mushy texture and then shape and bake them. Either way, they’re guaranteed to be delicious.
For the patties: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius (390 degrees Fahrenheit) and line two baking trays with baking paper.
In a large pot on medium-high heat, bring water to a boil. Add a good pinch of salt and the eggplant and cook, occasionally stirring as they float to the top. It will take around 15 minutes. Try one of the eggplants and see if it’s cooked. When they’re done, strain and leave to drain in a colander. Set aside.
In the food processor, put in the basil and pulse until it is still coarse but looks like it’s finely chopped.
In a large bowl, add in the strained eggplant, basil, garlic, breadcrumbs, parmesan, flax eggs, salt, and pepper.
Use your hands to combine well and then shape into patties and place on baking trays.
Bake for 15-20 minutes on one side and then flip them and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
While the patties are baking, prepare the tomato sauce.
For the tomato sauce: In a medium pot on medium-high heat, add in the olive oil, onion, and garlic and saute for a few minutes until the onion turns translucent and the garlic releases its aroma.
Pour in the passata and put 1 cup /250ml of water into the passata jar and shake well to get the rest of the sauce and pour into the saucepan, stir well.
Add in the sugar and let simmer for 20-25 minutes. If you’re adding the wine, add 10 minutes into the cooking time. It’s totally optional but it will add a beautifully rich flavour.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Once the patties and sauce are finished, serve the patties with about 2 tablespoons of the sauce on top.
Served best with some rice and salad, bread or as a starter on their own.
Breadcrumbs: Put the fresh bread into your food processor (with an S blade) and pulse until you get a bread crumb consistency.
Vegan parmesan: In a food processor, add 1½ cups raw cashews, ½ cup nutritional yeast, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt. Blend until you get a breadcrumb-like consistency and set aside. You can make more and save some in the fridge for use on other dishes like pasta, salad etc.
When using the food processor for the basil, making the breadcrumbs and the parmesan, don’t worry about washing it in between each use. Save some time and water.