If you’re looking for a vegetarian recipe for your next dinner party or ‘Meatless Monday’ meal then boy have I got the perfect dish for you. Not only do these cheesy eggplant involtini taste ahhh-ma-zing but they also make for a very elegant party dish! Win. And don’t let those pretty looks deceive you either, these beauties are super easy to put together.
Now I know some people like to ‘salt and degorge’ their eggplants before cooking them but, personally, I don’t bother with that step unless I’m using large eggplants (which tend to be more bitter) or making a dish that involves a lot of other ‘watery’ vegetables. That being said, feel free to do it if you prefer!
These eggplant involtini are delicious on their own but I also love them served on top of fresh pasta tossed with a little extra virgin olive oil. But that’s probably because I’m obsessed with pasta and would serve it with everything if I could…
2 medium eggplants, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 1 cm thick slices
2 tbs olive oil
1 cup Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups tomato passata (or any tomato-based pasta sauce of your choice)
3/4 cup Mozarella cheese, grated
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 180 C (grill setting).
2. Lightly brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place under the grill and bake for about 5 min on each side, or until soft and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.
3. Turn the oven setting to ‘bake’.
4. Whilst the eggplant is cooling down; combine the Ricotta cheese, half the Parmesan cheese, egg, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a medium sized bowl.
5. Spread half of the tomato passata into a baking dish.
6. To make the involtini: place a heaped tablespoon of ricotta filling near the end of the eggplant slice and roll up the slice. Repeat with the remaining slices, placing the rolls into the baking dish as you go.
7. Pour the rest of the passata over the involtini and top with mozarella cheese and the rest of the Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 25 min.
8. Serve the rolls by themselves or with spaghetti tossed in a little extra virgin olive oil.