Saturday, December 15, 2012
These individual rolls are easy to serve, great for a first course for a big crowd or part of a buffet. For a main course, you just have to add a salad.
1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 large eggplant
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
Salt and Pepper
Breading Station (see below)
To make this dish even easier, fry the eggplant the night before, mix the cheeses and this goes together in no time. You can double with recipe if you are having a bigger crowd.
Trim the stem and end from the eggplant. Remove peel. Removing the peel is optional.
Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices and place in a colander. Sprinkle generously with coarse salt and let drain for 30 minutes. Rinse under cool water, drain and pat dry.
Pour 1/2 cup each of the olive and canola oils into a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
Get your breading station ready.
Mix one cup all-purpose flour with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper
Beat two eggs with 1 Tbsp. water
2 cups Italian Style bread crumbs
Dredge eggplant in flour, egg and breadcrumbs.
Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes.
Remove eggplant to a paper-towel lined pan.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix ricotta, Parmesan cheese, half the mozzarella and egg in a medium bowl until well combined.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour 1 cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.
Lay one of the fried eggplant slices in front of you with the short end toward you.
Spoon about 2 Tbsp. of the ricotta filling over the narrow end of the slice and roll into a compact roll and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish.
Repeat with the remaining eggplant, placing the rolls side by side.
Ladle tomato sauce over the eggplant rolls and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Grate some fresh Pecorino Romano evenly over the rolls and spinkle with oregano.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the edges of the casserole are bubbling and the filling is heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove foil during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
Makes 8 servings