Aubergines give a dense and ‘meaty’ texture to these balls. I’ve kept any spices to a minimum so the garlic and oregano don’t overpower the balls – making them perfect for fussy kids. Our whole family love these balls and they’re a great way to subtly introduce the flavour of aubergines.
Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring often for 5 minutes or until soft but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, puree and oregano, as well as ¼ of the tin of water and allow to simmer and reduce while you make the eggplant meatballs.
For the eggplant meatballs:
For the meatballs, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the aubergines, onion and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often, until soft and cooked through.
Add the aubergine mixture, flour, breadcrumbs and oregano to a blender or food processor, and whiz until it comes together in a sticky mixture. If it’s too dry, add a little olive oil and if it’s too wet, add a small amount of breadcrumbs.
Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Heat some more oil in a frying pan and cook the balls, in batches, until browned all over and cooked through.
While cooking the eggplant meatballs, cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions.
Serve the spaghetti topped with tomato sauce and eggplant meatballs.