Gluttony or Sloth?
I am a sinner. Everyone sins. All of us human beings were born sinners. In fact, in Christian moral tradition seven sins are said to be deadly: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.
Out of these seven sins, I usually have a conflict between two of them – sloth (which refers to laziness) and gluttony, which Pope Gregory I defined as: “seeking delicacies and better quality of food to gratify the vile sense of taste.”
Hum? But don’t panic- this isn’t your nth preach. So before you start worrying that you have bumped into the wrong blog, or that I became the gluttony police on the web, let me recall that this is a blog about a lazy, glutton lady who loves to eat, and eats for the pleasure of food .
So how does these two “sins” relate to each other? In an ambrosial context there are three hypothesis:
Hypothesis number 1 – Gluttony and sloth coexist without collision: Ambrosiana is just so lazy to cook that she goes out for dinner to a place where she can eat and drink for the sole purpose of satisfying her mortal palate (a.k.a gluttony).
Hypothesis number 2- When sloth overcomes gluttony: Ambrosiana is so lazy that she gives up the mere motive of gustative gratification by preparing a quick meal (that does not engage in any cooking method), such as average prosciutto and mozzarella with bread, and a glass of wine (and probably not worth blogging about)
Hypothesis number 3 – When gluttony outperforms laziness: Ambrosiana goes the extra mile like a typical Italian granny (hahahah) and she prepares…eggplant meatballs.!!!
Eggplant meatballs, tzaztiki and fresh tomato sauce
Recipe for eggplant meatballs (base recipe taken from Giallo Zafferano)
-800 grams of eggplants (or two large eggplants)
– 120 grams of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
-120 grams of toasted bread crumbs
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 cup of minced parsley
– 1/2 cup minced mint
– salt and pepper to taste
- Bake eggplants at 200°C (about 400°F) for 40 minutes to an hour (or until done)
- When eggplants are done, let them cool, and discard skin. Drain to eliminate excess water.
- Mix all ingredients together, but salt (Parmigiano Reggiano cheese has already salt, so before adding more salt, check the amount of it and adjust if necessary)
- Blend all ingredients. If the consistency is too sticky, add more breadcrumbs.
- Using your hands, roll the eggplant mixture into 4 – 5 cm diameter balls and roll each ball into the breadcrumbs to coat.
- Arrange the balls on a cutting board or tray.
- In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the oil and fry the eggplant balls ( I suggest three or four per batch), until dark golden brown, turning gently to evenly brown all sides.
- Remove to a tray or plate lined with paper towels.
Tzatziki – Cucumber and Yogurt Dip (recipe taken from Vefa Alexiadou’s cooking book Greek Cuisine)
- 3 cups plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 cucumber, peeled, chopped, and squeezed to remove excess liquid
- 3-4 cloves, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3-4 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
In a bowl mix the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and oil, season to taste, cover, and chill. To serve, sprinkle with chopped dill.
Fresh tomato sauce with basil
- ¼ pounds plum tomatoes (3 – 4), cored, peeled, and seeded
- 1 small garlic clove,
- Some chopped basil
- Some olive oil
- Salt to taste
Transfer all ingredients in a bowl, adding the whole garlic clove. Leave the garlic clove for 15 – 30 minutes to infuse its aromas into the sauce. Discard. Using an immersion blender, mix lightly to get a chunky sauce.
Yields about 1 – 1 ½ cups depending on the size of tomatoes
These are fantastic! Thank you.
OMG! It looks so good!
Now that is wonderful, Ambrosiana, and fabulous pictures too. Brilliant post.
I’ve never heard of eggplant meatballs, Ambrosiana, and these do sound wonderful. I bet they are a big hit with your vegetarian friends and I’m sending the link to mine. I like the short cooking time for your tomato sauce. It must taste so fresh like that. Adding a bit of garlic to the Tzatziki sauce is a change for me, too, but I think it’s a welcome change. 🙂
Absolutely gorgeous – and it’s gluttony all the way for me!
Your polpette look fantastic! I have never yet tried eggplant polpette but have been meaning to, and now that we are finally getting nice-looking eggplants, I will certainly give it a try!!!