Eggplant Rollatini

 

Last Christmas, my cousins bought all of my family different cookbooks, and actually purchased me a greek one.  That being said, I traded my mother for Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis and I was VERY happy! (Sorry Michelle and Richard, we never told you….)
I find this recipe is a great, low-carb, Italian option for dinner.  It still has all of the flavors you may want in an eggplant parmesan, or vegetarian lasagna, but a slightly different version.  Grilling the vegetables also add a smoky dimension you don’t get in other preparations.
This is easy enough to make a day ahead and heat in the oven, which is what I did when I had two of my girlfriends, Jenny and Jordan, over to prepare for a baby shower. (See Jungle Shower.)
Ingredients:
2 medium eggplants (or you can use zucchini, but it is harder to roll.)

 

Salt
Vegetable Oil Spray
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup shredded mozzarella
4 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
3 tablespoons basil, chopped
1 cups tomato sauce (and I added 1 large, chopped tomato)

Directions:
Preheat Grill (pan) and oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the 2 ends off the eggplant, discard. Cut the eggplants lengthwise into ½ inch thick slices.  Sprinkle each with salt and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Pat dry to remove excess moisture.

 

Spray oil on grill pan and place eggplant slices on the grill until lightly browned on each side and tender, about 4 minutes per side.  This may have to be done in batches. Remove slices and allow them to cool to touch.

 

 

While eggplant is cooking, in a medium bowl, add beaten egg, ricotta, mozzarella, 1/2 the parmesan and basil.  (I cheated and just did this in a larger ricotta container. Might as well save a dish!)

Place a tablespoon of the cheese mixture on the end of one eggplant slice, and roll up tightly. Place the rolled eggplant into a 13 by 9 baking dish, seam side down.  Continue this with all the eggplant (or zucchini.)

Evenly spread the freshly cut tomatoes and tomato sauce on top of the eggplant. Top with the other half of the parmesan.    

 

 

Bake for about 15 minutes, until warmed through. 
If you choose, serve with whole-wheat spaghetti.

 

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