Today, I am revisiting one of my favorite recipes: eggplant rollatini. This time I’ve updated it with a special twist, stuffing these delicious bundles of eggplant with mozzarella cheese and a meaty bolognese sauce.
I have found that the more research I do on celiac disease and healthy living, the more I keep revising my recipes in an effort to use the healthiest ingredients and cooking methods. After more than ten years of following a gluten-free lifestyle, my family is also trying to avoid sugar, most grains, eat organic whenever we can, enjoy green drinks, and eliminate processed food. We have improved our diet, and we’re feeling terrific. In order to update my eggplant rollatini recipe to fit our current diet, I decided to leave out the breadcrumbs and broil the eggplant instead of frying. Once rolled up with the mozzarella and meat sauce, the result was absolutely perfect.
Not only is this eggplant rollatini a healthy choice for dinner, it’s a quick and convenient one too. I decided on this dish for today because I have friends visiting this afternoon. The great thing about eggplant rollatini bolognese is that it can be prepared ahead and stored in the fridge until it’s time to bake. Honestly, I think it’s even better when the flavors mingle a while before cooking. Knowing that dinner is taken care of, I’ll enjoy my friends’ company and not be preoccupied with thoughts of dinner preparation.
Sometimes I get caught up in a daily routine of too much work and responsibilities. It’s good to take a break and spend carefree time with friends, drinking cool lemonade, enjoying fresh fruit, talking, and laughing together. Especially when you can look forward to savoring wonderful eggplant rollatini bolognese for dinner.
First, slice up the eggplants. With two medium-sized eggplants, you should be able to cut about 18 (¼ inch thick lengthwise) eggplant slices.
Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil, season with salt, and arrange as many as will fit on a broiling pan. Broil about 4-5 minutes on each side and repeat until all the slices are browned. Be careful to check the slices after 3 minutes as some of my slices in the second batch burned a little.
Now for the sauce. In Bologna, where the sauce originated, three different kinds of ground meat – usually beef, lamb, and veal – are browned beforehand while sautéing vegetables and herbs. Then, they are all mixed together with puréed tomatoes in a pot that simmers for hours (sometimes overnight) on the stove. This, however, is my easy bolognese with just ground beef.
First, sauté the onion, garlic, carrot and celery in oil in a large skillet. Next, add the beef to the sautéed vegetables, season with salt, and cook stirring frequently, until the meat has browned. Then, add tomato purée, tomato paste, a bay leaf, salt, and oregano to taste. And that’s it.
Next, grease a baking dish and spoon some sauce into the bottom of the baking dish. Place no more than a tablespoon of beef bolognese sauce on the end of each fried eggplant slice, sprinkle with mozzarella, and roll up. Place baking dish, seam side down. Spoon more sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese (about 6 ounces). Cover and set in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350℉. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until the rollatini are heated through and the mozzarella cheese has melted.
How easy is that? You’re going to love this healthful dish. Serve it as an appetizer or as the main course. Buon appetito!
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Eggplant Rollatini Bolognese
- 2 large eggplants
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella divided
- For Bolognese Sauce:
- 1 pound ground beef
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery finely chopped
- 1 carrot finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 28-ounce can tomato purée (Muir Glen is organic and gluten-free)
- 1 6- ounce tomato paste (Muir Glen is organic and gluten-free)
- 1 dried bay leaf
- parmesan cheese to taste optional
- Slice eggplants. From 2 eggplants you should be able to get about 18 (¼ inch-thick lengthwise) eggplant slices
- Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil, season with salt and arrange a many as will fit on your broiler pan. Broil about 4-5 minutes on each side and repeat until all the slices are browned.
- For Bolognese Sauce: Sauté the onion, garlic, carrot and celery in oil in a large skillet. Add beef to the sautéed vegetables, season with salt, and cook stirring frequently, until the meat has browned. Then, add tomato purée, tomato paste, a bay leaf, salt, and oregano to taste.
- Assemble in Baking Dish: Next, grease a baking dish and spoon some sauce into the bottom of the baking dish. Place a tablespoon of beef bolognese sauce on the end of each eggplant slice, sprinkle with mozzarella and roll up. Place in baking dish, seam side down. Spoon more sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover and set in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350℉. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until rollatini are heated through and mozzarella cheese melts.
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