Sunday, March 29, 2009

Eggplant-Ricotta Rolls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

This was pretty easy and I didn't mind making it, even after a long day of a seminar course in Columbia. I think our mini food-processor that I use to make sauces and pestos may have seen better days and may need to be replaced soon. Oh well, it's been good to us for like 5 years. Anyhow, I thought this was yummy.

rolls

Eggplant-Ricotta Rolls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Shape magazine, March 2009

Roasted peppers give red sauce a new spin—and it takes just 5 minutes to whip up. Subsitute low-sodium jarred marinara sauce in a pinch.

For the sauce
1 8-ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce
½ cup jarred roasted red peppers, patted dry and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the eggplant
2–3 large Italian eggplant, tops and bottoms trimmed
Cooking spray
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 packed cups spinach leaves, chopped
1 ½ cups part-skim ricotta
¼ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons pine nuts

To make the sauce, combine tomato sauce, peppers, garlic, basil, oregano, and salt in a blender; add pepper to taste. Process until smooth.

To make the eggplant rolls, position oven rack about 6 inches from heat source and preheat broiler. Place an eggplant on a cutting board so the bottom end faces you. Cut a thin slice lengthwise off two opposite sides to remove skin, then discard. Cut the rest lengthwise into 1?2-inch-thick slices. Repeat with other eggplant to make 12 slices total. Coat both sides of eggplant slices with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper.

Working in two batches, place slices on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil for 2 to 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Turn off broiler and preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add spinach. Season with salt and cook about 2 minutes or until wilted. Transfer spinach to a bowl and mix with ricotta, basil, and oregano; add pepper to taste.

Place a rounded tablespoon of ricotta mixture near one end of an eggplant slice and roll eggplant up. Place in a baking dish, seam side down; repeat with remaining slices. Pour sauce over rolls and bake for 20 minutes.

Heat a skillet on medium low, add pine nuts, and toast for 4 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle over eggplant rolls and serve on individual plates or family-style.

Yield: 4 servings

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