Eggplant Rollatini

Total Time:
45 min
20 min
25 min

6 servings

  • 3 medium-sized eggplants (about 4 pounds total)
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 32 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 8 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 20 basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 2 cups fresh tomato sauce, recipe follows
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Simple Tomato Sauce:
  • 2 (32 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional
  • Preheat the grill and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  • Place a rack over a large baking sheet. Cut the eggplants lengthwise, into 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange eggplants onto rack. Sprinkle with sea salt to help remove excess moisture and any bitterness from the eggplants. Set aside for about 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off the salt from the eggplants and pat dry. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and place on a hot grill until lightly browned on each side and tender, about 4 minutes per side. If you do not have an outdoor grill, you can use a grill pan. Brush or spray vegetable oil evenly over the grill pan.

  • In a large bowl, mix the ricotta and egg. Add mozzarella, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan and toasted pine nuts and gently combine. Fold in basil just to combine. Do not over mix.

  • Place a tablespoon of the cheese mixture on 1 end of the eggplant and roll up tightly. Place the eggplant rollatini onto a greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish, seam side down. Continue with remaining eggplant. Evenly distribute the tomato sauce on top of the eggplant rollatini. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 5 tablespoons of Parmesan and bake for 15 minutes. When cooked, drizzle the top with extra-virgin olive oil.

Simple Tomato Sauce:
  • In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.

  • Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

  • If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1-2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to six months.

  • Yield: 6 cups

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes

  • Cook Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

  • Ease of Preparation: Easy

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