I’ve been wanting to share this recipe for quite a while now and the time has finally come. Anna is my mum’s best friend and she’s a great cook. An Italian woman, she makes all the classics that make you want to drool. I used to love 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.
I got the original recipe from Anna a few months ago and have played around with the ingredients to make it work as a vegan recipe. I’m really happy with how they’ve turned out! They’re 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 is that they can stay in the fridge for 2-3 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 better with age.
They’re great served with some nice thick Italian bread, a side of brown rice and with a fresh simple salad. I love making a rocket salad with crushed walnuts. Simple, but so so delicious. They have a lot of flavour on their own but can be a little dry on their own, 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 will be delicious!
Hope you enjoy Anna’s rustic eggplant patties in tomato sauce. I’m glad I’ve managed to veganise it!
- 4 medium sized eggplants, skins left on, diced
- 1 bunch of basil, leaves removed from stem
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 cups Italian (fresh bread) breadcrumbs*
- 2 cups parmesan**
- 2 tbsp psyllium husk + 5 tbsp water (egg replacer) only make a minute ahead of time
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 680gr of chunky passata
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup organic and vegan red wine (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200C (390F).
- In a large pot on medium to high heat, bring water to a boil. Add salt and the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally as they float to the top. It will take around 15 minutes. Try one of the eggplants and see if it's cooked. When done, strain and leave to drain in a colander.
- 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, psyllium egg, salt and pepper. Use your hands to combine well and then shape into patties.
- Line two baking trays with baking paper and 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.
- In a medium pot, 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 of water into the passata jar and shake well to get the rest of the sauce and pour into the saucepan. Stir well, also adding in the sugar and let simmer for 20-25 minutes. If you're adding a wine, add 10 minutes into the cooking time. I normally just eyeball it and pour some in but it would be around 1/4 cup. It will add a beautiful rich flavour.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the patties and sauce are finished, serve the patties with about 2 tbsp of sauce on top.
- Served best with some rice and salad or as a starter on their own.
* Put the fresh bread into your food processor (with an S blade) and pulse until you get a bread crumb consistency. ** In a food processor, combine - 1.5 cups raw cashews, 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt. Blend until you get a breadcrumb like consistecy and set aside. You can make more and save some in the fridge for use on other dishes like pasta, salad etc.
TIP: 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.