Rollatini is a rich, luscious dish of eggplant and cheese. I wanted to make this without frying the eggplant, in an attempt to get away from the things that go along with frying like extra oil and the obligatory breading, in an attempt to lower the calories and fats. The measurements are mixed because my scale measures in grams and the rest of North America uses ounces. Prep time is less than thirty minutes.
You will be best served by a large food processor. Chopping and blending the spinach/cheese mixture is so much easier that way. You’ll want at least one cookie sheet and a 13X9 pan, parchment paper and foil.
One large Eggplant
A cup or so of marinara sauce (make your own*)
one 15oz container of Ricotta (use the skim milk type if you must)
one half cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Spinach. I usually use hand fulls as a measurement, but I weighed it, 100 grams.
Basil leaves. One plants worth, came to 16 grams.
one large garlic clove
120 grams of grated mozzarella cheese
Heat the oven to 400°F
Slice the Eggplant lengthwise into quarter inch slices. Emma always sprinkled the eggplant with kosher salt and pressed it by placing it under a cutting board for about fifteen minutes to reduce bitterness. I don’t know if it makes a difference, but I still do it.
In the food processor, place spinach, basil, Ricotta, Pecorino Romano, the egg, pressed garlic clove, and a pinch of salt. Process until smooth.
Place the eggplant slices on parchment covered cookie sheets. Season with a touch of salt and pepper if you wish. Cover with foil and bake for eight minutes. You are not cooking the eggplant, just softening it.
Coat the bottom of a 13X9 pan with marinara sauce.
Spread about two tablespoons of cheese mixture on a slice of eggplant, leaving about an inch of the wide end clean. Roll from the narrow end. place seam side down in pan. Repeat with the other slices, filling the pan. Top with remaining marinara sauce, seal with foil.
Bake for forty five minutes.
Wash the food processor, cookie sheet, knife, measuring cups and the saucepan from the marinara.
Remove foil, cover with mozzarella cheese, place foil over pan lightly and return to oven for fifteen minutes.
Let cool five to ten minutes before serving.
* Marinara sauce:
Really? Heat a can of crushed tomatoes, press a clove or two of garlic, add oregano and basil to taste. Add some Pecorino Romano, crushed red pepper, onion, olives, a little red wine, whatever sounds good. Just give some life to the tomatoes and you have marinara. No sugar, no extra salt, no preservatives.
Dinner is ready and the kitchen is clean.