Bundles of lightly fried eggplant slices are filled with ricotta and smothered in tomato sauce for a bubbly, cheesy main course.
This recipe is one of my favorites. Enjoy!
2 whole eggplants, peeled and sliced lengthwise, about 1/4 inch thick, to get about 12 slices
2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
1- to 1 1/2- pound piece of fresh mozzarella (1/2 cup to be shredded, the rest will be sliced)
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (plus extra for sprinkling)
1/2 pound sliced prosciutto or ham (optional)
1 egg white
2-3 cups prepared tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought
1 loaf Italian bread, for serving
In a large skillet, fry eggplant slices in olive oil until eggplant is flexible for rolling, about 3 minutes per side. (Eggplant can also be roasted in the oven: Brush slices with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast in 400-degree oven for 20 minutes, flipping eggplant halfway through cooking.)
While eggplant is frying/baking, make filling: In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of fresh ricotta, 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of fresh shredded mozzarella, 1 egg white, salt and pepper, and mix well.
Drain eggplant on paper towel if fried. When eggplant has cooled about 10 minutes, begin the rolling process. On each slice, put about 2 tablespoons of ricotta cheese mixture. Spread it on the eggplant. Next, place a slice of ham/prosciutto on top of the cheese, if using, and then roll. Repeat with all eggplant slices.
Coat the bottom of a deep baking dish with tomato sauce. Start placing the rolled eggplants at the bottom of the pan. When pan is filled, put some sauce on the top of the eggplant. Sprinkle some more grated cheese on top. Finally, cut slices of fresh mozzarella cheese to place on top of each rollatini.
Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes. (If the eggplant was baked, 30 minutes is better.) The cheese should be melted and a little bubbling should be going on. Serve.
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