Eggplant Rollatini by Nonna Romana of Mola di Bari, Italy
  • Cooking Time: 30 Minutes
  • Servings: Serves 4
  • • 2 – Eggplants (1 large for slicing and 1 small for the stuffing)
  • • 2 Cups – Tomato sauce
  • • 1/2 Cup - Plain bread crumbs
  • • 3/4 Cup - Grated Parmigiano cheese
  • • 1/4 Lb - Mozzarella
  • • 2 Eggs
  • • 4 Cloves of garlic
  • • 1 Medium Onion
  • • 2 Tbs - Fresh mint - chopped
  • • EV olive oil
  • • Salt & pepper
  1. Tomato Sauce:
  2. • In a saucepan add 4 Tbs of EV olive oil, the finely chopped onion and one clove of chopped garlic. Once the onion is slightly golden add the tomatoes.
  3. • Cook at low flame for 20 minutes. Stir the content from time to time.
  4. Eggplant Preparation:
  5. • Remove the peel from both eggplants.
  6. • Cut the small eggplant into small cubes.
  7. • In a sauté pan add ¼ cup of EV olive oil, the cubed eggplant, 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped and a pinch of salt. Sauté the eggplant until it becomes soft. Leave on the side to cool off.
  8. • Cut the large eggplant in slices, about 1/4 inch thick. Slices should be cut long way.
  9. • Fry the eggplant slices in oil. Dry any excess oil.
  10. Stuffing Preparation:
  11. • In a mixing bowl, add the eggs, ½ Cup of Parmigiano (leave a ¼ Cup to put on the rollatini at the end), bread crumbs, chopped mint, 2 tbs of EV olive oil, half of the mozzarella cut into small cubes, the sautéed eggplant and 2 Tbs of the tomato sauce that you prepared. Add pepper to taste.
  12. • Mix everything well.
  13. Rollatini Preparation:
  14. • Take each slice of fried eggplant and add 1 tablespoon of stuffing on the slice and roll it. Repeat the process for all the slices of eggplant.
  15. • In an oven pan, first add a layer of tomato sauce and then place all the eggplant rollatini.
  16. • Cover all the rollatini with a layer of tomato sauce and a generous sprinkle of Parmigiano cheese.
  17. • Put the pan in the oven and cook for 30 minutes at 450F.
  18. • In the last 5 minutes of cooking add a tiny slice of mozzarella on each rollatino and finish baking.
This recipe has been passed down in my family for generations. My grandmother, Nonna Romana, and her three sisters would prepare this dish as a family in Mola, all having a different responsibility in the cooking process. Eggplant Rollatini is one of my favorite dishes and I love that my "Nonna" has taught me the recipe.