Friday, July 21, 2006

Eggplant Rollatini

From: Giada De Laurentiis; Everyday Italian

4 medium eggplants (about 4 pounds), cut lengthwise into 1/2" thick slices
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp sea salt
1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 Tbsp pine nuts
32oz whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
3 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
20 basil leaves, very thinly sliced
2 C Marinara Sauce
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Arrange the eggplant slices over a large baking sheet and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt (this will help extract the moisture from the eggplant). Set the eggplant aside for 15 minutes. Rinse the eggplant to remove the salt, and pat dry.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium heat, or preheat a ridged grill pan over medium flame. Brush the eggplant slices with 1/2 cup of the oil and grill until lightly browned and tender, about 4 minutes per side.

Preheat the oven to 375. Place the pine nuts on a heavy baking sheet, and toast in the oven, stirring once, until the nuts are fragrant and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Maintain oven temperature.

Lightly oil a 13x9" pan. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta cheese and eggs to blend. Gently stir in the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and toasted pine nuts. Fold in the basil just to combine (do not overmix). Place 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture at one short end of each eggplant slice and roll up tightly. Place the eggplant rollatini seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the marinara sauce evenly over the eggplant and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Bake uncovered until the eggplant are heated through, about 15 minutes. Drizzle more oil over eggplant and serve.

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