Involtini di melanzane
serves 4-5 as a main, makes 16 rolls
salsa di pomodoro
3 medium/large eggplants
extra virgin olive oil as needed
1 bunch basil
250g fresh ricotta, drained
1 free-range egg
sea salt & freshly ground pepper
110g fresh cows milk mozzarella, cut into cubes
1/2 cup (65g) freshly grated parmesan
2-3 tbs toasted pine nuts (optional)
- to make the filling set aside 2 tabs of parmesan. lightly beat egg and mix in ricotta and seasoning. add mozzarella, remaining parmesan and pine nuts. keep in fridge til needed.
- use long serrated knife to cut eggplants lengthways into slices 6mm thick. cut slices from the centre section of eggplants - you should get 5-6 slices from each (use leftover for another recipe)
- sprinkle slices with salt and leave to drain on rack for an hour. rinse off salt and squeeze dry between teatowels.
- brush lightly on both sides with olive oil, grill both sides (can also fry or bake)
- to assemble brush a large shallow oven proof dish with olive oil. preheat oven to 180'c
- lay slices on bench with narrow end closest to you. cut several basil leaves into shreds and sprinkle over slices. spoon a tab of cheese filling onto each at the narrow end. roll slices up around the filling and place seam side down in the dish
- spoon tomato sauce over rolls and sprinkle on reserved parmesan. bake in oven until hot, about 30 mins.
- leave to rest 10 mins before serving. drizzle with olive oil and scatter with basil leaves. serve warm or at room temp with italian bread and a salad
2 tabs extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
750g rice tomatoes, peeled & seeded, or 2 tins tomatoes including juice, or combination
pinch chilli flakes
1/2 tspn sugar
splash red wine vinegar (optional)
handful basil leaves
- add a little tomato paste if fresh tomatoes aren't at their best.
- roughly chop tomatoes.
- heat oil with onion & pinch salt
- cover and cook gently for 10 mins, add garlic after 5 mins
- increase heat and add tomatoes, chilli flakes, sugar, vinegar & pepper, cook for a few minutes
- turn heat down and simmer, partly covered, for about 30 mins
- stir occasionally, adding water if necessary
- sauce is ready when it thickens and oil separates
- puree with hand blender or food processor *
- slice basil leaves & add
* this recipe is just made for a thermomix ;)