If you like eggplant you are going to love this twist on eggplant parmesan. Instead of slicing your eggplant in disks you are going to cut your eggplant lengthwise, of course, you’re going to take off its skins first. I actually like to use a heavy duty potato peeler; it comes off so clean.
One thing a lot of people don’t know is that eggplant can certainly have a little bit of a bite to it. What I mean by that is that when you bite into eggplant it can have a sharpness when it touches the tip of your tongue. That’s one thing that’s distinctive compared to other vegetables.
With eggplant after you skin them and cut them lengthwise your going to lay them out on paper towel on a rectangle pizza pan and as you make layers your going to salt them before topping them with another layer of paper towel and then, of course, another layer of eggplant and so on till your finished with your eggplant.
This will draw out the excess water as well as reduce the bitterness of the vegetable (bite). You’re going to let them sit for a bit and when you go back to them you’ll see they’ve sweated out their water and you’re going to blot them to soak up the remaining water.
When I finally get to cooking the eggplant I will use a rectangle pizza pan with a cooling rack inside the pizza pan; so it’s sitting above the pan. I also like to cook it on a high oven and I’ve also used the broiler but put a distance from the flame (lower rack). They cook very fast, I will brush them or spray them with a little olive oil on both sides of the eggplant.
My favorite eggplant for this dish, is either the standard American eggplant (Globe) which comes fairly large, good for cutting lengthwise or the Italian eggplant which comes a little smaller, its skin is a little more tender and it has a slightly sweeter taste; either one of these eggplants would work great for the Parmesan Rollatini.
I’m sure if you like Eggplant Parmesan you are going to like Parmesan Rollatini Don’t let the recipe steer you away from trying it since there are multiple steps. It really does move fast and it can be divided up in making it at two separate times. Make your tomato sauce one day and your eggplant and assemble on the next day.
Augurandoti il successo!! Buon Appetito!!
- 2 to 3 large fresh eggplants
- 2 to 3 shallots
- 4 cloves of fresh garlic
- 1 large carrot chopped extra small
- 1 stalk celery chopped extra fine
- 1 1/2 jars Cento Passata sauce
- Sea salt and freshly grounded pepper
- 32oz. whole fat ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 bunch fresh basil chopped
- 3/4 cup shredded full fat mozzarella cheese
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1-Prep your pizza rectangle pan with 2 layers of paper towel. Turn your oven on broil. Make sure your oven rack is on the bottom 3rd of your oven. You do not want it at the bottom of the oven and you don't want it in the middle either but right under the middle section of the oven, so it not to be too far away from the flame and not be to close to the flame that it would burn.
2-Peel your eggplant and slice lengthwise, start layering on paper towel. After you fill the layer, salt the eggplant prior to topping it with another layer of paper towel; so on and so forth till you have all your eggplant cut, salted and layered.
3-Clean and prep your carrot, celery, shallots and garlic. In your sauce pan you are placing your olive oil and your butter in first then put all your herbs and vegetables in and sauté them until they become translucent and carrots, celery will not be hard.(fork can spear easily). You're also going to salt them too, this also helps with the sauté.
4-Now that your vegetables are ready you're going to judge the amount of Passata sauce you're going to use and if you would like to have some left over for other uses later. I like to use all of it since its great leftover for cooking other veggies with it or you could also use it for a little pasta dish later on into the week. Maybe you can even use it as a base for soup, too. Add salt and pepper, fresh basil, and your dried bay leave, with just a little water maybe 1/2 cup (you may have to judge). Put the flame on medium high just until it starts to bubble; then reduce it to a simmer with lid off.
5- Your eggplant should be ready now to start cooking. After you uncover the eggplant you're going to blot the excess water the salt has pulled out. You're going to take another pizza pan and a stainless steel cookie rack and place it in the pizza pan. Place your eggplant on the rack and proceed to brush olive oil over your eggplant; just a light brush is all you need. Then flip your eggplant and brush the other side with olive oil too. Now your ready to start your broiling. Remember you must keep a close eye on them since it will cook fast and you DO NOT want to accidentally burn it. Use tongs to flip them over doing the same thing for the other side; then proceed to finish the rest of your eggplant. Don't forget to stir your sauce periodically throughout the oven cooking time of the eggplant.
6-You are now going to prep your filling for the eggplant. In a bowl put your eggs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and mix well, next add ricotta and mozzarella cheese and a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg; continue to mix well; then refrigerate till ready for the mixture.
7-Now that you have your sauce, eggplant and your filling ready you're going to proceed with the assembly of the rollatini. First, set your oven to 375 degrees. Take a rectangle Pyrex glass dish, put a few drops of olive oil on the bottom and slide it around until the whole bottom surface is coated. Now layer some sauce on the bottom as well. Now you are ready to begin filling your eggplant and you roll them putting them in the pan seam side down. Take approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons of ricotta filling and apply it lengthwise to your eggplant keeping your filling away from the sides of the eggplant. Roll it and put it seam side down. You will not need anything to hold your rollatini since it soft at this stage and will be very pliable .After you have completed all of your rollatini, top it with as much of the sauce you would like, everyone has a different preference; I personally like a lot of gravy(sauce). Then top it off with extra mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Lastly, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, pop it in the oven, set your timer for 25 minutes when you will remove your foil, reset your timer for maybe 8 minutes to brown up the top of the cheese. When that time is complete remove from oven, let it rest for about 5 to 8 minutes and serve warm.