Saturday, November 27, 2010

Involtini di Melanzane (Rolled Eggplant Bundles)

I had some eggplant left over from making Eggplant Parmesan the other day, so I went online to look for some new eggplant recipes to try out. I found a rather interesting recipe called Involtini di Melanzane. It's basically rolled eggplant with pasta stuffing. I've never heard of this dish before, let alone tried it. So, I was pretty psyched to try it out. It turned out to be really good and I'll definitely make this for dinner again in the very near future. I'm not sure if it's authentic or not, but here's my take on how to make Involtini di Melanzane.
Start off by slicing the eggplants lengthwise into thin slices. Sprinkle salt on both sides of the eggplant slices and place them into a colander. Allow the eggplant slices to sit for about an hour or so. This is done so that we can get as much water out of the eggplants as possible. After about an hour, rinse off the excess salt and pat it dry with a paper towel.
Heat up some oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, place a couple of eggplant slices into the pan. Be really careful when you do this, cos it will splatter! Also remember not to overcrowd the pan. Fry until the eggplant slices becomes soft and golden brown on both sides.
Remove the eggplant slices from the pan and place them onto some paper towels. This is done so that we can get as much oil out of the eggplant slices as possible. You can put more paper towels on top of the eggplant slices and lightly pat it down too. That will help in removing as much oil as possible. Once you have done that, set the fried eggplant slices aside.
Next, cook up your favorite long pasta. It can be spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine or even angel hair pasta. I used spaghetti and it worked out pretty well. Once your pasta is al dente, drain it and set it aside.
Now it's time to make some pasta sauce. You can just reheat some from a jar or make from scratch using your grandma's favorite pasta sauce recipe. It doesn't really matter. I just reheated some tomato and basil pasta sauce that came in a jar. Once you are done with the pasta sauce, split it into three portions.
Pour the first portion of your pasta sauce into a deep baking dish.
Toss your pasta in the second portion of that pasta sauce and set the third portion of sauce aside. We will use it later on.
Here's when we assemble everything together. Place a slice of eggplant on a flat surface. Scoop up some pasta and place it in the middle of the eggplant slice (just like the photo).
Then, sprinkle on some feta cheese (you could also use mozzarella cheese if you like) onto the pasta. Top if off with a slice of cooked bacon. I used turkey bacon but you can pretty much use any type of bacon that you like. Just make sure that it's not greasy.
Roll up the eggplant and place it on top of the pasta sauce that we placed earlier in the deep baking dish. Make sure that you place the eggplant rolls seam side down, so that it doesn't unravel during cooking.
Once you have finish rolling up all your eggplants, scoop on some pasta sauce (the 3rd portion that we saved earlier) on top of the eggplant rolls. Sprinkle on some Italian herbs, black pepper and it's ready to go into the oven.
Place the baking dish into a 375F preheated oven, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. After 40 minutes or so, remove the baking dish from the oven and sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese before serving. I'm glad I found this recipe cos it was totally delicious. Go ahead, try it and tell me what you think!


Anonymous said...

Great ideas. Thank you

Cindy W said...

Thank you! This dish was awesome! I only changed two things, I used regular bacon and used soba noodles. My husband loved it! It's a keeper!