Eggplant Rollatini

Eggplant Rollatini

I tasted Eggplant Rollatini just recently for the very first time. It wasn’t a dish I grew up on like Eggplant Parmigiana. And I’ll let you in on a secret. I’ve always been fickle about it. It’s touch and go with me. One day I love it, the next I don’t. It all depends on the eggplant itself. It has to be cooked just right.

Not mushy or too thickly sliced; tender with a bit of firmness. Like the eggplant rollatini I tasted off my Dad’s plate at this tiny, family-owned Italian place on the side of the highway that I passed by thousands of times without stopping because it looked like a dirty, old shack. How was I to know? Looks really are deceiving. It’s an undiscovered gem of a place. I loved the rollatini and knew the moment I tasted it I would be recreating it. It is made by rolling up long slices of eggplant filled with ricotta and mozzarella, then smothering it in sauce and more mozzarella, and then baking it to a bubbly, molten finish. The ricotta is what makes it different from parmigiana. It’s a combo of two classics: lasagna and parmesan. If your looking for something different give this a try.

Eggplant Rollatini

Eggplant Rollatini
(by Reeni)
Eggplant (about 3 pounds)
Sea salt and fresh pepper
15 ounces Ricotta Cheese
2 cups Mozzarella, shredded
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup fresh Parsley, chopped
1 jar of good Tomato sauce(like Barila), or 2-3 cups homemade
Basil for sprinkling over top
Extra-Virgin Olive oil, for serving
Parmesan, fresh grated, for serving
1. Peel and slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch thick slices length-wise by cutting off each end and then standing it upright. Cut in half and then carefully cut the slices starting from the inside out.
2. In a large colander layer the slices sprinkling each side generously with salt. Let sit for 20 minutes. Press gently down on them to squeeze any excess water out of them. Use a damp paper towel to brush off the salt.
3. Cook the eggplant by gently grilling them(thinly brush over them with olive oil) or dipping them in egg then seasoned bread crumbs or flour and pan frying them in a small amount of oil on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. You can also bake it on a baking sheet in a single layer. You still want the eggplant to have some firmness to it – don’t cook it until it becomes mushy.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl combine Ricotta, 1 cup of the Mozzarella, the beaten egg and the parsley.
5. Spray a 9×13 baking/casserole pan with baking spray and coat the bottom with a thin layer of sauce.
6. Add about two tablespoons of the ricotta mixture to the large end of the eggplant. Carefully roll up and place seam side down in the pan. Continue until they are all rolled.
7. Cover each one with sauce and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella evenly over the top. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle basil over the top.
8. Bake for about 30 minutes until bubbly and golden brown on top. Let set for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with a drizzle of Olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

Eggplant Rollatini

Eggplant Rollatini

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