Monday, January 28, 2008

Eggplant Rollatini

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.
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  1. Oh my gosh, what a lot of work! Appears well worth the effort, your meal looks delicious.

  2. Oh my goodness these look amazing. I'm TOTALLY serious when I say I'm going to have to make these. I starred them to make when DH gets home. Thanks!

  3. LisaRene - It's a process, but the end result is well worth it. The taste is just amazing.

    Leica - Thanks. :)

    Katie - Thanks! I'm particularly proud of that first picture. :) If you try it you have to let me know how it turns out.

  4. If you're left handed can you set up the assembly line backward?

  5. yum yum yum

    I love this dish too but because of all the work, lazy me has only made it once.

  6. longhair - Of course! :P

    Dani - We made it a bunch of times about 3 years ago, but then stopped because it was so labor-intensive. I've been meaning to make it for the blog for almost a year now and finally got around to it this weekend. It's so good and well worth the effort!

  7. my first reaction to this is just WOW. what a great job you guys did. these seriously look *amazing*.

  8. told one of my best friends on the phone last night about this post and she went crazy over the idea - I sent her your link!

  9. Melissa - Thanks! I was pretty excited about that first photo, too. Not to mention the dish itself was incredible. :)


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