Italians love the involtini concept—something filled and rolled. In this recipe from The Tuscan Sun Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, March 2012), Frances Mayes and her husband Edward Mayes experimented with this idea, since they had a nice firm and gigantic eggplant in their kitchen. For this dish, choose the brick-shaped part-skim mozzarella because it has less moisture. For beauty, tie the involtini with chives. Enjoy!
Eggplant Involtini Recipe from The Tuscan Sun Cookbook:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the parchment
1 large eggplant, cut lengthwise into 8 slices
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves or
1½ teaspoons dried
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
8 tomatoes or 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes almost drained of liquid, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
8 slices prosciutto
8 slices part-skim mozzarella
¼ cup (1 ounce) grated parmigiano-reggiano
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Oil a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Place the eggplant slices on the pan and brush on both sides with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle on the oregano, salt, and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, turning once. They will then be supple. While the eggplant is in the oven, make a simple tomato sauce by whirring the tomatoes briefly in a food processor. In a medium skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion for 2 to 3 minutes in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Stir in the tomatoes and cook the mixture briefly, just to blend flavors, about 2 minutes.
Remove the eggplant from the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F. On each eggplant piece, place a slice of prosciutto and a slice of mozzarella. Roll the pieces from the small end forward, and secure the neat little bundle with a toothpick or by tying a chive around it.
Slather the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with some of the tomato sauce, and arrange the involtini seam side down. Over each bundle spread some more tomato sauce and a scattering of the Parmigiano. Warm well in the oven, about 15 minutes. Finito!