- 3 medium eggplants - (abt 4 lbs total)
- Sea salt to taste
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- Canned vegetable spray
- 32 ounces ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 8 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 20 basil leaves chiffonaded
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
- 2 cups Simple Tomato Sauce (see recipe)
Preheat the grill pan and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place a rack over a large baking sheet. Cut the 2 ends off the eggplant. Cut the eggplants lengthwise, into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange eggplant slices onto rack. Sprinkle with sea salt to help remove excess moisture and any bitterness from the eggplants. Set aside for about 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off the salt from the eggplants and pat dry with a towel. Spray hot grill pan liberally with vegetable spray and then place eggplant slices on the grill until lightly browned on each side and tender, about 4 minutes per side. Remove slices from the grill pan and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until lightly scrambled. Mix the ricotta in with the egg. Add mozzarella, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts and gently combine. Fold in basil just to combine. Do not overmix.
Place a tablespoon of the cheese mixture on 1 end of the eggplant and roll up tightly. Place the eggplant rollatini into a greased (with olive oil) 13- by 9-inch baking dish, seam-side down. Continue with remaining eggplant. Evenly distribute the tomato sauce on top of the eggplant rollatini. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 5 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and bake for 15 minutes. When cooked, drizzle the top with extra-virgin olive oil.
This recipe yields 6 servings.