Eggplant (Aubergine) rolls with Ricotta and Tomato sauce August 28, 2006Posted by Paul Borgermans in Cooking, Recipes.
This is a recipe that apparently pleases quite a few of my friends, so upon request I share this with anyone who wants to try. In fact this may be regarded as one of the many variations that exist on the Italian/Toscan classic: eggplant with tomatoes in the furnace. It also serves the same purposes: you can serve it as a light meal or let it accompany another dish.
The inspiration for this recipe is from many sources and my own preference and experiments.
What you need (side dish for 5-6 persons)
- 2 Eggplants
- 250 gr Ricotta cheese
- Olive oil (around 10-20 cl)
- basilicum leaves (fresh)
- 1 can of mashed tomatoes (400g) or 500g fresh tomatoes, peeled
- 1 small red onion
- 4-7 table spoons Marsala wine (or half a glass white wine and a bit of sugar)
- 10 cl chicken or vegetal broth (bouillon)
- salt, pepper, fresh garlic (2 or 3 toes)
- optional: Shoyu (japanese soy sauce) to replace the salt in the tomato sauce, fennel powder (1/4 teaspoon) for the tomato sauce
Prepare the Eggplant
Cut the eggplants in long slices of 4-6 mm thickness. Put some salt on it and let the bitter juice come out for 10-20 minutes (in the meantime, prepare the tomato sauce — see below). Then rince and dry with kitchen paper.
Heat olive oil in a bowl on a high fire and fry the eggplant slices on each side for a few minutes (do not let them burn or become brown completely). Put the fried slices on kitchen paper which absorbs the excessive oil.
Stirr the ricotta so it becomes a bit smoother and apply a layer of 2-3 mm on each eggplant slice. Add a bit of salt and black pepper (both from a mill: the salt becomes more like a powder). Then put 1 or 2 basilicum leaves and finally make a roll. Put the rolls in a dish which is greased with a few drops of olive oil.
Chop the onion in small blocks and heat them with some olive oil on a moderate fire for a few minutes. Add the mashed tomatoes and when it starts boiling, add also the Marsale wine and bouillon. Turn down the fire a bit and let it loose volume for until 2/3 of the original (typically this takes 20-30 minutes). Stir frequently. Then add the sqeezed garlic and add pepper/salt/shoyu according to your taste. I usually add a bit of fennel powder at the end too, it provides a “fresh background”.
In the furnace
Preheat the furnace to 200°C.
Put the tomato sauce on top of the rolls and add some freshly grated cheese (I prefer young parmesan or gruyère). Finally heat the dish with rolls in the furnace for 10-15 minutes. Let it cool down afterwards slightly (20-30 minutes, covered with for example aluminium foil), this will increase the taste even more.