Eggplant Involtini with Tomato Capsicum Sauce
You'll be rapt with these delicious bundles of chargrilled eggplant filled with a creamy ricotta and basil filling. The trick is to cut the eggplant thinly to make rolling easy and be sure to use full fat ricotta cut from the wheel.
It's a great Italian-style meat-free meal that can be made up to a day before, kept refrigerated and then baked. It will please meat eaters and vegetarians alike.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
2 large eggplants
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup finely chopped, crustless stale bread
500g full fat ricotta (cut from the wheel)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
TOMATO CAPSICUM SAUCE
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small red capsicum, finely chopped
1/2 cup wine or stock
400g can peeled tomatoes
1 cup grated provolone*
Cut eggplants lengthwise into 12 thin slices (1/2 cm thick). Brush with oil, season with salt and grill or chargrill on one side only.
Dry fry the pine nuts in a frypan until golden and remove. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the frypan and fry garlic, bread and 1 teaspoon salt, until toasted.
Break up the ricotta using a fork, add the pine nuts, toasted bread mixture and basil, mixing with your hand. Season to taste.
Divide the ricotta filling evenly between eggplant slices, placing the filling on the short end of the eggplant and rolling up to enclose.
Pour Tomato Capsicum Sauce into the base of a lasagne dish, nestle the Eggplant Involtini into the sauce, sprinkle with provolone and bake at 200°C for 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve sprinkled with basil leaves and extra toasted pine nuts.
TOMATO CAPSICUM SAUCE** Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frypan and sauté onion and capsicum until softened. Add wine and tomatoes and simmer for 5-10 minutes until thickened. Season to taste, adding a little sugar if needed.
TIPS *Provolone can be substituted with a combination of half mozzarella, half parmesan. **A little chilli can be added to the sauce if desired.
Recipe and Styling: Naomi Crisante foodcentric.com.au Instagram @food.centric
Photography: Josh Lynott joshlynott.com Instagram @joshlynott