We had a crazy few days over Memorial Day weekend and I wanted something pretty easy but delicious to make on Monday night for dinner. Eggplant cut into slices and baked until pliable, then stuffed and rolled with a delicious filling baked in marinara and cheese…. these were not only a perfect way to end such a good weekend, they made great lunches the last couple days! I served ours with some homemade garlic bread and spaghetti tossed in the leftover marinara sauce, but you could serve it with anything you like! This recipe makes 6 rolls (if you cut the eggplant slices a little thinner you can easily make 8).
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and start prepping your eggplant: Cut the sides and ends off 2 large eggplants (our farmer’s market only had purple the last time I went but I love using white or graffiti eggplant as a fun change of pace). Cut each one into 3 slices (4 if you want more rolls) about 3/4 inches thick. Season both sides with salt and pepper and place on a silpat lined baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper first, then foil (the parchment paper is so the eggplant doesn’t stick to the foil) and bake until pliable, about 14 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling by combining 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup shredded pecorino cheese, 1 large egg and 3 minced fresh garlic cloves in a small bowl. Remove the foil and parchment and allow the eggplant to cool enough that you can work with the slices. Divide the filling evenly among all the slices… spread, starting at the smaller end and stopping about an inch from the end of the slice. Repeat with all the slices and place, seam sides down in an 8″x8″ baking dish that has a layer of marinara sauce covering the bottom. Top with a little more marinara sauce over each roll, cover the dish in foil and bake until the eggplant is tender, 50-60 minutes. Remove the foil, top with 1 cup of pecorino cheese and bake about 5 minutes more until bubbly and slightly brown.
For the garlic bread I just cut slices out of a loaf of pain de campagne, smear it with some butter and sprinkle on a little salt. Put it under your ovens broiler for about a minute until golden brown and then right when you take it out of the oven, rub it with a clove of garlic. I cooked spaghetti according to it’s box until al dente and tossed it with the remainder of my jar of marinara sauce.