Eggplant rollatini. This is a recipe that we absolutely love but for some reason we never make. I realized a few months ago that I hadn't made it the entire time I've had this blog. I finally had an excuse to make it on Sunday when we had my parents over for dinner, so I took the chance to do a step-by-step tutorial in case anyone was interested. It's a very labor and time-intensive recipe, but the results are well worth it.
Like most Italian dishes I make, this is a Lidia recipe.
The recipe starts with 2 eggplants thinly sliced lengthwise. I always salt the slices of eggplant and lay them on paper towel-lined baking sheets to drain. Supposedly this takes some of the bitterness out of the eggplant:
While the eggplant is doing its thing I made the filling:
... which is 3 cups of ricotta cheese mixed with chopped parsley, salt, pepper and Pecorino cheese. Taste and adjust the seasonings before adding 1 beaten egg. I also made a quick tomato sauce using 2 cans of tomatoes, finely minced carrot, celery and onion, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Then I set up an assembly line:
... of a sauce-lined baking dish, basil and mozzarella cut into sticks. SP was in charge of frying the eggplant:
He dredged the slices in flour and then in egg before adding them to the hot oil. I love how crispy the outside gets:
Then it was my turn to roll the rollatini. You add about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta filling to each slice, top with a stick of mozzarella and some basil:
... then roll and place, seam-side down, into the baking dish. Repeat with each slice of eggplant until the dish is full.
We ended up needing a large 9 x 13" dish and another small dish to fit all the eggplant. Once you're done rolling, top the rollatini with the remainder of the sauce and some grated cheese:
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving:
We had ours with salad my mother made:
... which included lettuce, tomato, cucumber, radish, croutons, sprouts, dried cranberries and pine nuts in a mustard vinaigrette.