International Selections Artisan Recipe - September 2013

"Involtini" translates loosely from the Italian as "rolled-up things." Meat, fish or a vegetable, sliced thin (and sometimes pounded even more thin) is rolled around a compatible filling and cooked. This delicious version is made with eggplant ("Melanzana"), a healthy rendition in which we steam the eggplant slices rather than frying them.  It's the perfect companion dish to this month's Italian wines. Enjoy! (recipe courtesy of Robin Garr wineloverspage.com)

Baked Eggplant Rolls 
.......................................................................................................................................................

Involtini di Melanzane (Baked Eggplant Rolls)

Ingredients:

• 1 large eggplant
• 1 small or 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
• 1 large fresh tomato, peeled, seeded & chopped
  (or half of a 14.5-ounce can of tomatoes, chopped)
• 1 Tbsp tomato paste
• dried red pepper flakes
• 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
• 2 Tbsp Italian flatleaf parsley, divided
• salt
• black pepper
• 4 oz ricotta cheese
• 1 egg
• 1 oz grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Preparation:
Prepare the eggplant: Cut off the end and slice the eggplant lengthwise into about six even slices, no more than 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle them with salt, and put them into a steamer basket over simmering water for about 10 minutes or until they are soft. Gently remove them to a large plate and let them cool.

Make the tomato sauce: Sauté the onion and garlic gently in 1 Tbsp of the olive oil until onion is translucent, then put in the tomatoes, tomato paste and a small amount of dried red pepper flakes to taste. Add the fennel seeds and about half of the chopped parsley, reserving the rest. Simmer uncovered over very low heat for 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if it seems to be too thick. Check for seasoning and add salt and black pepper to taste. 

Prepare the filling: Put the ricotta in a small bowl. Stir in the egg, Parmigiano and reserved chopped parsley. You want the result to be thick, not runny, so add the egg a little at a time and don't use it all or add a little more ricotta if needed to get the texture right. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Assemble the involtini: Lightly grease a small baking dish with a little olive oil. Put about 1 heaping Tbsp of cheese filling on the center of each steamed eggplant slice, and gently roll it into a cylinder with the filling inside. Place seam-side-down in the baking pan. When you've got them all lined up, drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the tops, then pour the tomato sauce over them. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is hot and bubbly and browning on top.

Pair this recipe with this month's International Selections featuring:
• Monte del Fra 2009 Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso DOC
• Casalvento 2009 Chianti Classico
......................................................................................................................................................

Click to Print

......................................................................................................................................................

Click here to view our past recipes:

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

Bonus Recipe

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012