Spicy aubergine polpette

Spicy aubergine polpette
  • Serves icon Makes 10-12; 330ml jam
  • Time icon Hands-on time 1¼ hours, plus overnight draining

Francesco Mazzei knows how to get a dinner party started – crispy aubergine morsels paired with a firey jam – you’ll be hooked from the first bite to the last.

Per polpette (for 12): 76kcals, 6.6g fat (0.6g saturated), 1.1g protein, 2.9g carbs (0.4g sugars), no salt, 0.5g fibre 

Per 1tsp jam: 20kcals, no fat, 0.1g protein, 4.7g carbs (4.4g sugars), trace salt, 0.2g fibre 


  • 160g (about 1 large) aubergine
  • 2 free-range medium egg yolks
  • 40g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 4g fresh mint leaves, finely chopped 
  • 4g fresh marjoram, finely chopped (or a large pinch dried)
  • 16g fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 tbsp dried)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the chilli jam

  • 320g red peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 80g red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 Thai bird’s eye chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 40ml red wine
  • 25g liquid glucose (from the baking section of supermarkets)

You’ll also need…

  • Digital probe thermometer


  1. Begin this recipe the day before you want to serve the polpette. To make the chilli jam, whizz the peppers and chillies in a small food processor, or crush to a fine paste in a pestle and mortar. Transfer the chilli paste to a medium saucepan, then stir in the remaining jam ingredients and a pinch of salt. Cook over a medium heat for 10-20 minutes until the mixture has thickened and reduced by two thirds. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, put the aubergine directly onto the flame of a gas hob. Cook it, turning when it starts to blacken and blister, until the skin is completely charred. (You can also grill the aubergine directly under the grill.) Set aside to cool, then peel and discard the skin. Chop the peeled aubergine, then put in a colander set over a bowl. Leave to drain overnight in the fridge.
  3. The next day, discard any juices in the bowl, then combine the drained aubergine with the remaining polpette ingredients (except the oil). Season well with salt and pepper, then shape into 10-12 croquettes.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, deep, heavy-based saucepan to 180°C when tested with a digital probe thermometer. Fry the polpette in 2 batches for 5 minutes each or until golden and piping hot. Serve warm with the chilli jam.

delicious. tips

  1. The chilli jam will keep in a sterilised jar in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

Recipe By

Francesco Mazzei


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