Sunday, May 31, 2009

Eggplant Rollatini

The other night, my little brother and his girlfriend, Meera, joined us for the evening. I told Meera to decide what to have for dinner- if she could pick anything at all, what would it be? She flipped through a copy of Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, a book I wasn't quite sure how I felt about. Meera chose Eggplant Rollatini with Cappelini, and here is our adaptation of that recipe, below.
I tell you, I was a little bit thrown by the idea of something so soundingly Italian for a Shabbat dinner main course, that I relegated it to side dish to flounder with oregano in parchment. However, it was clear from how quickly these rollatini literally flew off the baking dish that they could have been the main course, no problem. As I sit in bed writing this post, my mouth is watering. I'm thinking of how to serve rollatini for brunch, perhaps next to eggs poached in leftover tomato sauce?
I urge you to try this recipe. The fresh basil makes it truly irresistible.

Eggplant rollatini with fresh basil and cappelini
2-3 globe eggplant, sliced thin, lengthwise (thin enough to be rolled up), salted and set aside for an hour or so.
10 oz cappelini, cooked al dente, and set aside
10 oz fresh mozzerella, diced into small cubes
1/4 c fresh basil, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
your own tomato sauce (our recipe is below)

1. Rinse salted eggplant and blot with a towel to dry.
2. Mix pasta, cheese, basil, salt and pepper together in a bowl until well tossed.
3. In a 9x13 baking dish, ladel some tomato sauce. To make rollatini, spoon some pasta/cheese mixture on the eggplant slice, and roll to close. Place rollatini, seam-side down, on top of sauce. Repeat with all slices. Cover dish with foil and bake, 30 min at 375.
4. Ladel more tomato sauce on top, and serve at the table, or ladel sauce on individual plates, place rollatini, and ladel more sauce on top, with fresh basil to garnish.

Our Sauce
1 T olive oil
2 T finely diced garlic
1/4 c diced onion
2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes (we used 365 brand)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 c roughly chopped fresh basil

1. In medium saucepan or saute pan, add garlic and onions to oil on medium heat. Be careful to not brown garlic.
2. Add diced tomatoes, salt, and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer until thickened, about 25 min.
3. Towards the end of cooking, add fresh basil. This step is key-- the basil absolutely makes this sauce!

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