Eggplant rotolo

By Mary Berg
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SERVES
6
 TO
8
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 ½ cups finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ cup frozen spinach, defrosted and very well drained
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 3–3 ½ cups marinara sauce, store bought or recipe follows
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and drizzle two large rimmed baking sheets with one tablespoon of olive oil.  Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer onto the baking sheets and drizzle the remaining one tablespoon of oil over top of the eggplant.  Season the eggplant with a little salt and pepper and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until softened and just starting to turn a light golden brown around the edges. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the ricotta, one cup of Parmesan, two cups of mozzarella, egg, egg yolk, drained spinach, parsley, and basil until well combined.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside. 
  3. When the eggplant is done, remove it from the oven, leave the oven on, and set the eggplant aside to cool slightly.  Set out a 9x13” baking dish and spread about one cup of the prepared tomato sauce into an even layer across the bottom.  Retrieve the eggplant and dollop approximately ¼ cup of the ricotta filling at one end of each slice of eggplant, roll them up, and place them into your prepared baking dish.  Pour approximately two cups of the prepared tomato sauce over top of the eggplant rolls and scatter the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese and remaining ½ cup of Parmesan evenly over the top.
  4. Pop the pan into the oven for 25–30 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and the whole lot is nice and bubbly.  Allow the rotolo to cool slightly for 5–10 minutes before serving with a fresh sprinkling of Parmesan, pepper, and a scattering of basil and parsley if you’re feeling fancy!

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