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Eggplant Manicotti With Ricotta, Asiago, And Spinach Filling


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  • SAUCE:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 large carrot peeled, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes with puree - (28 oz)
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or canned low-salt chicken broth)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil - (abt 2 lg bunches)
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound fresh or whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Asiago cheese - (abt 3 oz)
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 medium eggplants unpeeled, each
  • cut lengthwise into eight 1/3"-thk slices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil more or less
  • 1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese


Servings 8


Step 1

For sauce: Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic; sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add wine and cook 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, stock, and basil; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper. Cool.

For manicotti: Place ricotta cheese in strainer set over large bowl. Let stand until excess liquid drains from cheese, about 2 hours. Transfer ricotta cheese to medium bowl. Stir in Asiago cheese, spinach, nutmeg, and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in egg.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil 2 large baking sheets. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with olive oil; arrange on prepared sheets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until eggplant slices are tender, about 13 minutes. Cool on sheets.

Place 1 eggplant slice on work surface. Place scant 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture near narrower end of eggplant slice. Roll up, enclosing filling. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices and filling.

Spread half of sauce over bottom of 13- by 9- by 2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange eggplant manicotti in single layer atop sauce. Spoon remaining sauce over. (Manicotti can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake manicotti until heated through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

This recipe yields 8 servings.

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