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Rocco's Mama's Mini Meatball Bites

Serves 6 servings

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 small yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 large egg white
  • 12 ounces lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup low-fat marinara sauce
PREPARATION

Preheat the oven 450F. Spray a 12-cup mini-muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Place the eggplant on the grate of a gas burner over a high flame. Char the eggplant, turning it every few minutes, until the ski is blackened and the flesh is cooked through; this should take about 12 minutes. (Alternatively, you can char the eggplant on a barbecue grill, a grill pan or on a baking sheet under the broiler.)

Allow the eggplant to cool slightly, and then cut it in half. Scrape out the flesh, being careful not to incorporate the skin. Measure out 1/4 cup of the flesh; reserve the remaining eggplant for another use.

In a blender, combine the cooked eggplant, chicken broth, onion, garlic and egg white. Pure until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine the pured mixture with the ground turkey, parsley and 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Spoon about half of the marinara sauce into the cups of the prepared muffin pan then drop rounded tablespoons (about 2 ounces each) of the meat mixture into the cups. Top with the remaining marinara sauce. The cups will look overfilled, but the meat will shrink when cooked through.

Bake until the meatballs are done, about 15-20 minutes.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, and serve.

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