Yeah – it was pure heaven wrapped up and covered with marinara sauce! As promised here’s the recipe and pictures of my experiment making Giada DeLaurentis’ Eggplant Rollatin. I’ve had it out at Ippolito’s and loved it so I made it myself (with a little help from Jennifer). Wow – my genes were flooded with memories of Napoli years ago. I can hear the women talking as the pots and dishes clanked. My roots are calling me – come back…and would I love to go back to Italy. It’s funny – my grandmother’s family was from Naples, but who knows if there are any of her family left. But when I was lucky enough to travel to Italy a few years ago I actually stopped in Naples on the way back from Pompeii and saw a man that looked JUST like my father! It was amazing – if I knew Italian I would have talked with him to try to find out if we were “kin”! So anyway, here is a picture of my heaven…
To make this you start with 4 lbs. of big eggplant, peel them, slice them lengthwise, salt them down good, put them on a “cookie cooler” thing to let the salt pull out the moisture, then grill them.
To make the marinara sauce I sauteed two small chopped onions and 4 chopped cloves of garlic in 1/4 cup of EVOO. Then I added 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper, 2 bay leaves, and two 32 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes. This needs to simmer for about an hour on low.
Then you get out the stuff to make the cheese filling:
It’s a 32 oz. container of ricotta cheese (I used lowfat), 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, 3 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese, two eggs, and 3 tbsp. toasted pine nuts. Last you add 2o thinly sliced basil leaves.
Then you grab one of the eggplant, put a tablespoon of the cheese mixture on the narrow end and roll it up putting it seam side down in a greased baking dish.
Here’s Jenn helping.
Oh so good!
The only thing I found out with this Giada recipe is that you have way too much cheese! You could use just a 16 oz. container of ricotta and have plenty. Oh well – now I have an excuse to make some of the lasagne rollatini that I saw on the Olive Garden commercial tonight! YUM!!!