Rotolo di Melanzane -- Eggplant Rollups
Prep time: 2:00 Overall time: 2:30
5 to 8 servings scale / convert
1 lg. eggplant, ends removed, peeled and sliced into steaks
1 cup breadcrumbs, unseasoned
8 oz. ball, Mozzarella, whole milk
1 pound, Ricotta, whole milk
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tsp. Italian parsley, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste
5 cups Italian Tomato sauce, with Meat
(See Salsa Pomodoro at this site)
3 eggs, whole
Olive oil for frying
Flour for dredging
Trim ends off eggplant, peel and slice into thin steaks. (Steaks are obtained by slicing lengthwise.) Should have 10-12 steaks. (I use a mandolin to make uniform slices.) Beat two of the eggs with a bit of water or milk in a soup dish. In another soup dish place the cup or so of breadcrumbs. Dredge the steaks in flour, then dip into the egg wash and then coat with breadcrumbs. Place on a rack to dry. Heat the Olive Oil in a medium sized skillet and saute the breaded eggplant steaks a few at a time, until tender and lightly browned. Drain on absorbent toweling.
Divide the Mozzarella ball in half. Reserve one half. The other half dice into fairly small dices. In a medium bowl, place the ricotta cheese, diced mozzarella, parmesan cheese and parsley. Stir to incorporate all ingredients well. Once mixed, stir in the last egg and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place about 2/3 cup (or a bit less) into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. On each slice of fried eggplant place a couple of teaspoons of the Ricotta cheese mixture. Leave in a ball on the eggplant. Roll eggplant, beginning at the Ricotta Cheese, ending with the seam on the bottom. Place in the baking dish with the sauce. Continue until all eggplant slices are used. Place a teasoon of tomato sauce on each eggplant roll, then top with a thin slice of Mozzarella from the half of ball you reserved. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes. Then place a tablespoon or more of tomato sauce on each roll and sprinkle with a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese. Continue to bake for another 10-12 minutes. Serve hot as an appetizer or side vegetable.
In our house eggplant was a staple! We always had plenty of eggplant around to cook in any number of ways. This one is a favorite of mine, along with Eggplant Parmesan! I can remember being home on leave from the Air Force and watching my Mother making these. She began breading the eggplant without dredging it in flour first. I told her that the breading would stay in place better, and the eggplant would not absorb so much oil if she floured it first. In her usual manner, she gave me a glance and told me where to go. I didn't critsize again!
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