Eggplant Croquettes (version II)

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2 medium large eggplant
2 slices of stale bread made into crumbs
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper
1 cup bread crumbs for coating
oil for frying
Sauce:
1 (16 ounce) can chopped Italian tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive oilsalt and pepper
red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil

Bake the eggplant in a 375 degree F. oven for 45 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork. Cool, then remove skin and place the pulp in a food processor. Add the bread crumbs made from the stale bread, garlic, parsley, cheese and pulse. Taste and add salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Roll into small log shapes about 3 inches long, then roll in the remaining bread crumbs. If you find the mixture is still too wet, add more bread crumbs as needed. When all the polpette are made, fry them in 375 degree oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in the oven until serving if desired. Do not add the sauce until just before serving, or the polpette will become soggy.

To prepare the sauce, heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and once sizzling add the tomatoes, parsley, and seasoning. Cook for 15 minutes until thickened. Drizzle over the croquets just before serving.

Variation:
If desired, you could first roll the eggplant croquets in egg and then the bread crumbs which will give a much crisper crust.



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