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

View All

Cooking Tips
Loading review filters...

    116 Reviews
    0/1000 characters
    Your Rating:
    Sort by: 
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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! 
     ..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.
    Absolutely amazing! Rave reviews!
    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
    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.
    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!
    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.
    This has become an old standby and all my relatives have come to expect it. Love the flavors and ingredients are gluten free(check you ricotta cheese - some are not gluten free).
    Great recipe. I make marinara the day before. The only issue is the recipe calls for baking 
    in oven for 15 minutes. It really needs 30-45 minutes. It's great left over the next day.
    Made the cheese filling as stated and ended up with double the cheese filling. Put the rest on top of the rolls?no point letting it go to waste :) I then served it with pasta on the side and then mixed the pasta into the extra sauce.
     I think the bitter/tough eggplant comments are simply a result of eggplants of varying ripeness/quality. The salting and cooking is a guide. If you take the eggplants off the grill and they are still tough let them cook a bit longer. If they're too bitter add a bit more salt to pull out the moisture.
     I also used a jarred sauce. Saves time and if it's tasty you won't notice the difference. I had a few left over basil leaves so I use those to put on top of the red sauce to give it more of a homemade freshness.
     A few people mentioned that this is a diet friendly dish. Can't agree. The amount of cheese (if you use it all) is a lot and none of it is low fat. It is super tasty though.
    As I write this I have the dish back in the oven for 10 more min. Really TOUGH. But I love eggplant.The sauce was good but the whole dish needs something more...Followed it to a T. Maybe it will taste better tomorrow like some dishes do
    I had high expectations for this dish but the eggplant was too tough to chew-Sorry-need to cook this longer to break down the eggplant
    I am giving this four stars without even trying, why, because I am Italian, and I have tried just about every recipe that Giada has made,and I will tell you they are closest to be authantic as Italian cooking can be. So the one with the problem with Giada's cooking don,t try her recipes AND P.S LOSSER SHE HAS SOME OF THE MOST WHITEST TEETH ON THE FOOD NETWORK MAYBE YOU SHOULD GET YOURSELF SOME WHITE SUFF FOR YOU MOUTH YOUR JUST A JEALOUS WANT TO BE.
    Made the recipe as written, even the tomato sauce. Although time consuming, I LOVED IT. It freezes extremely well, by the way. Although the tomato sauce recipe is slip smacking good, I'd consider using a good quality jarred to cut down on time, since the recipe does take a good amount of time to assemble. This is worthy of company, for sure!
    It takes a little time for the preparation, grilling the eggplant, but this is really good. I used storebought sauce, with roasted tomatoes. For sure I'll make this again.
    When I make grilled eggplant lasagna, I always use Japanese/Asian eggplant. It has a silky texture, no bitter flavor, and the skin is tender. I made the rollatini using YOUNG Italian eggplant which was firm to the touch. I followed instructions to the letter. We had to use steak knives to cut the doggoned eggplant which was as tough as shoe leather and you need teeth as sharp as a Cuisinart blade to chew the skin. A waste of ricotta, parmigiano and buffalo mozzarella and all because of the texture of the eggplant and the tough skin.
    This is sooo worth the effort to make. I used a grill pan and broiled the sliced eggplant in my oven about 3 minutes each side, to give it the grill marks. I did not have riccota so I used low fat cream cheese with fresh grated parmesean, pine nuts (not toasted), fresh basil, dried oregano and pepper. I mixed togetherin my little hand mixer until the pine nuts were lightly chopped and consistency relatively smooth. Once the eggplants were done, I rolled about 2 tbsp of the cheese into each slice, placed in a glass baking dish and poured all of the homemade tomato sauce all over it. Sprinked some shredded cheese on top and then baked per recipe. My husband who is not a fan of eggplant said it was one of the best meals I have ever made!! (and I cook every night!) This is a meal I will be making again and again!
    This recipe was easy and was loved by non eggplant eaters. Mise En Place wasnt bad at all. I made half the eggplant recipe for 3 and the whole sauce which I will use next week to make fresh pasta. Keeping that in mind the Mise En Place for the eggplant will only be about 45 minutes....Thanks Giada I have a few more of your recipes to rate....
    I made this recipe for our New Year's Eve dinner and it was simply delicious. My family loves eggplant so it was great eating it made this way.
     I had eaten eggplant rollatini in restaurants before and I was very pleased with the outcome.
     Technically I had some difficulty cutting the eggplant uniformly. I also improvised on the homemade sauce as I did not have all the ingredients listed. If your pressed for time, you can always prepare the sauce ahead of time. Making your own sauce is always a nice alternative.
     Overall this is an excellent dish and I will be making this again for my family!
    I am not known for my cooking ability but wanted to surprise my friend at work with a birthday lunch. I found this recipe easy to follow and delicious. My only comment is that 4 minutes of grilling on both sides of the eggplant slices was too long. I did take one persons advice and used a jar of Newmans Marinara sauce. Serve it with a Panzanella salad and you have a true winner. Everyone at the birthday lunch wanted the recipe. I am sure to make this one again.
     Thank you Giada!
    I made this last night for my husband (who was not shy about telling me of his dislike for eggplant) and I and it was terrific! Some past reviewers mentioned this was a tedious recipe, however if you plan ahead and read the recipe through before you start you can generally make this dish fairly quickly (i also already had Giada's marinara sauce made in my freezer from past lasagna recipes I've made this season which speed things along). I served it with thin spaghetti and caesar salad and there wasn't a bite left on our plates! I loved the taste and texture the pine nuts added to the ricotta cheese mixture. Thanks G for another great dish - will definitely be making this again (and eating leftovers for lunch today)!
    I used my own sauce and just added some bread crumbs with Parmesan reggiano sprayed with EV Olive oil on top. My husband is a CIA grad and an amazing chef and he absolutely raved about this dish. I served it over some thin spaghetti I covered with the extra sauce.
     Giada scores an A+ again!!
    I made this for a girls weekend and everyone enjoyed it, alot. I'm making it again tonight. I wasn't overwhelmed with the sauce but I've been looking for a fabulous rollatini recipe for years and this is the closest I've got to my favorite restnt. Thanks miss g.
    This recipe was great. I did take off the skin based on reading the reviews prior to making it. To the lady that made harsh comments about Giada, that had nothing to do with food: There's plenty of channels and shows to watch. If you hate Giada that much, you should change the channel. Your comments went beyond food. You seem too obsesed with Guiada and need to get a life. If she's so horrible why do you keep watching and trying. Why would you make her eggplant knowing you hate all her recipies. I bet you din't even make it. Please, stop watching her show and stop screwing with the reviews. Your low star raiting based on personal reasons, affects the overrall raiting of the recipe. Someone of us go by the star ratings before we cook and don't appreciate someone like you affecting the Average rating it should be based on people who cooked the recipe and taste it afterwards. Get a life, please! Celebrities need bodyguards because of crazy people!
    I thought this was AWFUL. I was so disappointed. I have 2 of Giada's cookbooks and use them all the time.I usually love her recipes. This was a waste of a lot of money and a lot of time!
    I broiled the eggplant with only sprayed it with cooking spray to keep it from getting too greasy. I also added some fresh garlic to the cheese mix. I will be making this again for sure!
    Flag as inappropriate

    Thank you! your flag was submitted.

    Not what you're looking for? Try:

    Eggplant Rollatini