Eggplant Rollatini

Total Time:
2 hr 20 min
35 min
1 hr 45 min

6 servings

  • 3 medium-sized eggplants (about 4 pounds total)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Can vegetable spray
  • 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, chiffonaded
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 2 cups fresh tomato sauce, recipe follows
  • Simple Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

Preheat the grill pan and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place a rack over a large baking sheet. Cut the 2 ends off the eggplant. Cut the eggplants lengthwise, into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange eggplant slices 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 with a towel. Spray hot grill pan liberally with vegetable spray and then place eggplant slices on the grill until lightly browned on each side and tender, about 4 minutes per side. Remove slices from the grill pan and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until lightly scrambled. Mix the ricotta in with the egg. Add mozzarella, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts and gently combine. Fold in basil just to combine. Do not overmix.

Place a tablespoon of the cheese mixture on 1 end of the eggplant and roll up tightly. Place the eggplant rollatini into a greased (with olive oil) 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 cheese and bake for 15 minutes. When cooked, drizzle the top with extra-virgin olive oil.

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 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 1/2 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 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.

Yield: 6 cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Ease of Preparation: Easy

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4.5 116
I made this last night and it was very very good. I didn't add the pinenuts as my husband does not like them. The sauce was somewhat acidic and the receipe called for adding butter to help and it worked,. I never heard of that before but I will never forget that trick. I would alsways add sugar which just makes it sweet. The butter was the perfect touch. I will make this again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a tasty recipe. I found that I had way too much filling and the filling was very loose. After baking, it was oozing out the sides. I do not have a grill so I srayed a griddle and browned the eggplant slices on it, grilling both sides until they were soft enough to roll. I was not crazy about the pine nuts in this recipe. When I make this again, I think I will let the ricotta drain while I am preparing the eggplant and omit the nuts. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Pretty Yummy. I cut the eggplant to correct size according to the recipe but I think it should be thinner. I used my own sauce so I can't rate the sauce part of this recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
it was very yummy!! Altho I did use Mario's tomato sauce recipe from his eggplant parm recipe... the combo was a winner!! I couldn't decide between the two so I combined them : I also pan seared the eggplant to get them soft enough to roll (don't have a grill, tragic I know. Probably took an extra minute on each side, but worked great. Must make it you like eggplant! item not reviewed by moderator and published
012 Edit ..Simple, healthy, easy recipe! Love that the ingredients accessible year-round. I like recipes that are off the beaten path a bit and this is a great, lite dish that would be a good main or side dish. Don't skimp or change a thing (albiet pine nuts - if you don't have, it's not a game changer for this recipe. Also, recommend you use a good quality romano-parm cheese from the specialty section of your grocer if offered and instead of the aisle shelf-brand parms - really enhances the outcome! If you have time - it's worth it to make the sauce! (PS - I think you may be able to use a 4th eggplant w/amount of cheese leftover -- and although sauce will freeze well, not sure if the cooked eggplant and cheese rolls will. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely amazing! Rave reviews! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved this recipe. So much easier and healthier than breading and frying. Added chopped fresh spinach to the ricotta mix and added some ground beef (prepped with sauted onion and fennel seed to each roll. Slicing consistently is the key to getting the right texture. Baked for 45 mins item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was very skeptical about grilling the eggplant rather than breading and frying but I was pleasantly surprised. It was a great healthier alternative to breaded and fried. I had a ton of extra cheese filling, next time I'll know where to scale the recipe. I did use the pine nuts but I really didn't notice them all that much. A few pieces were tough but I attribute that more to my uneven cutting (i cut a few pcs thick. I wonder if that is the issue some are having w/ it being too chewy. Also, I didn't use Giada's sauce recipe, had my own so used that and served over pasta that was dressed w/ olive oil, basil and parmesan and it was delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Grilling the eggplant was a great alternative to the less healthy and more time consuming fried eggplant. I thought not frying it might end up in a less tasty dish, but I was wrong! It was delicious! I used my own sauce that I had in the freezer. I also skipped the pine nuts and it was still wonderful! I did not use as much sauce as in the picture. I layered some on the bottom of the pan, and coated the tops of the rollatini. It also fit the bill for my vegetarian, gluten free daughter. Light and tasty - I will definitely be making it again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Mmmm...This recipe was great. I only made half because there are only two of us, but it turned out perfect. I just used a high quality tomato sauce and it was great and pretty easy. My boyfriend usually complains when I prepare a dinner without meat, even the ones they say you won't miss it in, but not this. I even asked him if it was okay without meat, and he said YES! I think this is the first vegetarian dish he hasn't asked for meat with. I salted, rinsed, and dried the eggplant very well and I think that was the key. These were some of the most tender eggplant I have ever eaten. I must say, I did bake it for twice as long based on some reviewers recommendations, and I would highly recommend amending the cooking time. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Eggplant Rollatini