This recipe features the Cantanzaro Herbs, found locally at Savory Spice Shop in downtown Franklin. Cantanzaro Herbs is handcrafted from garlic, lemon peel, marjoram, European basil, Mediterranean thyme, rosemary and Greek oregano. When it comes to Italian food, there isn’t any dish that couldn’t use this full flavored blend. Perfect on pasta and in tomato based sauces. Try on vegetables, chicken, scrambled eggs or omelets and fish. Use it to spice up pizza or as a great finishing touch to salads.
Be sure to visit Savory Spice Shop in Franklin located on Main Street for all of the spices listed in this recipe. Follow them on Facebook for the latest offerings and updates.
- 2 medium eggplants, peeled and cubed (approximately 8 cups)
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup minced shallots
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 tsp. Cantanzaro Herbs
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup Subtle Rustic Red Sauce (or prepared chunky style Italian red sauce)*
- Bomba di Calabria Hot Pepper Paste (now available at our store!)
- 6 to 8 fresh basil leaves per hoagie
- 4 hoagie buns
*Check out our recipe for Subtle Rustic Red Sauce, or use your favorite prepared red sauce. Wanna spice it up? Use Bomba di Calabria Hot Pepper Paste to the sauce recipe!
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. of the oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and saute until very soft and browned, 12 to 15 min., stirring often. Transfer eggplant to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher until there are no large pieces and the texture is closer to mush. Mix in shallots, ½ cup of each cheese, Gourmet Santa Maria, and panko. Form into 12 to 15 meatballs (slightly larger than a ping pong ball). Set meatballs back in the bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 30 min. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In the same skillet, heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook on all sides (assuming about 6 sides on a round meatball) until most of the exterior is nicely browned, 1 to 2 min. per side. To assemble: Slice hoagies lengthwise about three-quarters of the way through, so the hoagie still holds together. Remove a portion of the bread from inside and add a layer of sauce and basil leaves. Top with eggplant meatballs, more red sauce, and a generous portion of the remaining shredded cheeses. Place in the oven for 4 to 5 min. to melt the cheese and warm everything through. Serve hot.