Eggplant Rolls

Eggplant Rolls (Involtini di Melanzane) -

- 1 large eggplant
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1/8 cup pine nuts, finely chopped
- Olive oil
- Salt
- Fresh black pepper
- Fresh basil

1. Mix the ricotta, Parmigiano and pine nuts in a bowl with 3-4 torn basil leaves. Salt and pepper to taste.
2. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 4-6 slices, each about 1/4-inch thick.
3. Bring a large skillet up to medium/high heat on a stovetop and add a generous splash of olive oil, enough to coat the entire bottom.
4. Fry the eggplant slices, turning over occasionally, until soft and both sides of each are browned.
5. Remove from heat and allow to rest until cool enough to handle.
6. Lay the eggplant strips flat on a cutting board and add a heaping spoonful of ricotta onto one end of each.
7. Carefully roll the strips up so that they completely encase the filling (you can use a toothpick to hold the eggplant closed if necessary).
8. Arrange vertically on a plate and top each with a few whole pine nuts, a drizzle of olive oil, and a basil leaf.

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