Eggplant Rollatini

recipe image

Preparation

Time: 3hrs

Yield: 4

Level: Medium/difficult

Ingredients

For the Pesto:

  • 1 large container, Basil (Set some leaves aside for chiffonade garnish at the end)
  • 1 small package Pine Nuts (~3-5oz)
  • 4-5 cloves Garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • 6-8 oz Parmigiano Reggiano (buy the REAL stuff, its worth it)
  • Lemon Juice to taste (~1/2 cup)
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

For the Marinara Sauce: 

  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 3 stalks, Celery chopped
  • 3 Carrots, chopped
  • 1 small Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 small can Tomato Paste
  • 1 Cup dry, White Wine (chardonnay or pinot grigio, what you would drink)
  • 1 Cup unsalted, Chicken Stock
  • 1 box Pomi brand, Tomatoes
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • ½ Tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • S/P  to taste

For the Eggplant: 

  • 2 Large Eggplants
  • 2-3 Eggs for eggwash
  • Seasoned Flour for coating (all purpose flour that you add salt and pepper to)
  • 16-24 oz Canola or peanut Oil (enough for pan frying)
  • 1 package Cappelini (Angel Hair)
  • 1 8oz container of Buffalo Mozzarella (again, buy the REAL stuff, its worth it)

Preparation

Pesto:  Lightly toast pine nuts in a dry sauté pan on the stove for approximately 5 minutes, or until golden brown, but keep your eye on them, as they have a tendency to burn quickly.

-In a food processor combine basil, garlic and pine nuts for about 15 seconds or until combined.  With processor on, pour in ¾ of the olive oil through the feed tube, in a slow steady stream until combined.  Then add the parmigiano reggiano.  Pour in the remaining olive oil.  Add lemon juice and salt/pepper to taste.

Marinara:  Rough chop onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper and garlic.  Put olive oil in a large saucepot on medium-high heat. Once hot, Add celery onion, carrot and peppers, and sweat until translucent.  Add garlic. Once you can smell the garlic, add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes.  Add white wine, reduce by 2/3.  Add chicken stock, reduce by half. Add tomatoes and dried herbs, turn to low heat cover and simmer, about 30 minutes, stirring often. Turn off let cool.  Once cool, puree in blender in batches.  Return to sauce pan and let simmer on low heat. Finish with finely chopped fresh basil and salt/pepper to taste

Eggplant:  Cut off top/bottom then peel, cut lengthwise into ~¼ inch thick slices (you should be able to get at least 4 slices out of each eggplant.  You may have extra depending on the size of the eggplant!  I use a mandolin for this, but you can use a knife, they don’t have to be perfect, just close to the same size.  Dip in the egg wash, then coat in flour and let rest for a couple minutes (this allows the coating to adhere to the eggplant), and pan-fry in canola oil – 2-3 minutes on each side or until light golden brown.  Set on paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Let cool.

Cappelini:  Boil in salted water 3-5 minutes or until soft.  Strain and set aside.  Once cool enough to handle, toss in a large bowl with pesto to generously coat the noodles.

Assembly:  Once cool, lay the eggplant flat on the counter, put a portion of the pesto capellini in the center of each eggplant crosswise. Wrap/roll the eggplant around the capellini and place open-side down in a shallow baking dish.  Repeat with all eggplant slices.  You want them flush up against one another so they don’t come unrolled.  Once baking dish is lined, cover with marinara sauce and place one slice of buffalo mozzarella on top of each rollatini.  Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.  Garnish w/chiffonade of basil