Bathed in a vibrant tomato sauce and sprinkled with a blanket of gooey melted cheese, these Eggplant Rollatini present an inviting presentation that is sure to impress your guests.
These cheese-filled eggplant rollatini bundles are one of my family’s favorite dishes. Besides, I am always excited to cook with eggplant as they are such a versatile vegetables. They pair nicely with many savory and sweet ingredients, and since they are spongy, they absorb flavors and contribute to texture.
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What’s unique about this eggplant rollatini recipe Recipe?
The baking method is my preferred method for frying eggplants. It uses less oil. I get nice browning with a soft silky interior for my eggplants slices. And it is pretty much hands-off.
I can make this in under one-hour for a weeknight dinner or I can pace myself and make all components ahead and assemble them as needed.
It can be served family style or baked in individual dishes.
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Step-by-step: How to Make eggplant rollatini
Step 1: Preparing the eggplant slices
To slice the eggplant I usually use a mandoline slicer as it will give me even slices. I typically don’t peel the whole eggplant, just shave two opposite sides of the eggplant to make a more absorbing surface. Set the slicer to 1/4 inch (5mm) and get even slices.
Step 2: Baking eggplant slices
Line the two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the eggplant planks on the sheet and brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Do the same on the other side.
The sheets go into a hot oven between 400 – 425 F.
You don’t want to burn them, but want them crispy outside and soft inside; that requires a quick brown-skin formation.
To ensure even browning, flip the slices at least once, and rotate the sheets from top to bottom; I do it every 8-minutes. In 30-minutes my slices are ready.
Step 3: Preparing the cheese blend
In the meantime I make a quick marinara sauce with crushed tomatoes and create the filling with ricotta, mozzarella, and Pecorino Romano.
Step 4: Making tomato sugo sauce
The tomato sauce I used for this dish was a simple one made with finely chopped onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and basil.
I barely cook the tomato sauce, so it retains its fresh flavor; and the onion adds a subtle sweetness.
Step 5: Making the eggplant rolls
Evenly distribute the filling on the eggplant slices and spread with a small spatula or a butter knife.
Drizzle some olive oil on a baking dish, spoon half of the marinara sauce into the dish.
Tightly roll the eggplant slices and nestle the eggplant bundles into the red sauce seam side down. Spoon the rest of the sauce on top without drenching the rollatini completely.
Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes in a 375 F degree oven until the sauce is bubbly. Pull the foil off towards the end of the bake as needed to control the moisture. Sprinkle graded romano cheese and basil leaf chiffonade.
Best Way to Serve Eggplant Rollatini
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Irresistible Eggplant Rollatini – Involtini di Melanzane
- 2 Eggplants Large
- 1 cup ricotta cheese whole milk
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/3 cup pecorino romano grated
- ½ cup parsley
- Salt & Pepper
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- ½ Onion medium
- 1 garlic cloves Minced
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Fresh Basil
- Slice each eggplant lengthwise into ¼ -inch thick slices using a sharp knife or mandolin slicer.
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
- Line 2 baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the parchment with oil.
- Arrange the sliced eggplant on a baking sheet.
- Brush the slices with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Flip the eggplants and oil the other side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place eggplant sheets in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes. Flipping and rotating the sheets every 8 minutes.
- Marinara Sauce
- In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering.
- Add the onions, and cook until translucent and soft, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic, and continue to cook until fragrant, another minute or two.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper and cook in medium-low heat. Let it simmer until thickened for 8 to 10 minutes.
- In a bowl, mix together the filling ingredients.
- Prepare the baking dish. Drizzle the baking dish with olive oil and spoon half of the marinara sauce on the bottom.
- Spoon a heaping tablespoon of filling onto the eggplant slice, and spread with a knife or a small offset spatula.
- Roll the eggplants and nest the little bundles seam side down in the red sauce.
- Spoon the rest of the sauce over the rollatini, cover the casserole dish with foil, and bake for 20-30 minutes.