Sunday, April 07, 2013

Eggplant Involtini with Ricotta and Goat cheese

Eggplant InvoltiniThe first time I tasted involtini was some months ago in one of the small restaurants in Little Italy in New York. We were thirsty and hungry and tired from all the strolling through the streets and the smell in the air around this restaurant made us stop, sit and wait impatiently for all the tasty homey food we ordered. I do not remember the name of the restaurant, but I remember very well the taste of the eggplant involtini - the  thin slices of eggplants wrapped arond a ricotta and goat cheese stuffing. Here is my interpretation of the recipe:
Eggplant InvoltiniInvoltini with Ricotta


Ingredients:

For grilling the eggplants:
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
Eggplants
For the stuffing:
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup soft goat cheese
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
For the tomato sauce:
  • 12.35 oz (350 g) canned peeled tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream (optional)

Prepare the tomato sauce:
Put olive oil into  a deep skillet and saute garlic for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes passata and salt to your taste and let simmer for half an hour.
Cut and grill eggplant:
Trim the stems of the eggplants and cut eggplants lengthwise into 1/5 inch (0.5 cm) thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and let rest for 30 minutes. During this time the bitter juice from the eggplant will come out. Dry every slice with a sheet of kitchen paper, put slices in a bowl and sprikle 5 Tbsp olive oil and some salt above them. Mix slightly with your hands in order the slices to be covered slightly with oil. Heat a grilling pan on high heat and put eggplant slices in a single layer over the hot surface of the pan. Grill for one minute and turn. After one additional minute take slices out of the pan and place onto a kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining slices. 
Involtini
Prepare the stuffing and roll involtini:
In a bowl stir together ricotta, goat cheese, thyme and salt.
Place one slice of eggplant onto a flat working surface and put a spoonful at the one end. Roll the slice and put it seam-slice down onto the tomato sauce covered baking dish. 
Eggplant Involtini
Bake:
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Put tomato sauce into a baking dish until the bottom is covered and arrange involtini above. Drizzle cream over each one of them and put baking dish into the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes until the edges of the dish get caramelized and the sauce starts to darken. Serve with a glas of wine. 
Involtini

4 comments:

  1. This looks beautiful... I have the eggplant and the fresh ricotta at home. I've found my way to your blog via Tastespotting, and I'm so glad I have! I can't wait to try your recipe, and your photos are gorgeous.... Thank you!

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    1. Thank you, Angela,
      Hope you will like the taste, I will be glad to hear from you after trying it!

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  2. I have all the ingredients on hand for this eggplant and ricotta dish.. so I definitely will be making for my vegetarian family tonight. I JUST love how delicious it looks and sounds!

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    1. I would be glad to know did you like the dish, Thalia. Thank you for the nice words

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