Holy Macaroni! Where did the summer go?
For this recipe blog, I’ve got a recipe that will warm your belly while still making you reminisce of summer.
I love this recipe, it has loads of cheese, which I love and definitely satisfies my cheese cravings, but is vegetarian, and gluten free. And lightens the dish by using eggplant instead of lasagna noodles or cannelloni. The kale can be substituted with spinach.
It is easy to put together, and makes any kitchen smell like heaven [or what I would imagine Nonna’s kitchen would smell like]. The addition of the lemon zest in the ricotta mixture brightens the entire dish. Yumm!
Eggplant Rolls with Ricotta & Kale Filling
1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/4” thick
1.5 cup tomato sauce, your favourite marinara [homemade or store bought]
1 cup ricotta
1 small bunch of kale, stems removed, washed
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 tsp lemon zest
handful of basil or parsley, chopped
1 cup mozzarella, grated or sliced
salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 500F [broil], place eggplant slices in a single layer on lightly oiled, rimmed cookie sheet, brush with a touch more olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil for 5-10 minutes, until softened and lightly golden brown. After you have removed the eggplant, turn oven temperature down to 375F
- While the eggplant is in the oven, bring water to a boil in a medium pot, add salt, and add kale. Blanch kale for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse with cold water. Squeeze to drain excess water. Chop kale roughly and set aside.
- In a bowl, stir together the ricotta, egg, garlic, lemon zest, parmigiano reggiano, parsley or basil, kale, salt and pepper.
- Spread a ¼ cup of your tomato sauce on the bottom of a ceramic or glass baking dish. Dividing the ricotta-kale mixture [around 1 large table spoon] evenly onto the centre of each eggplant slice, roll, and place seam side down in prepared baking dish. Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella.
- Bake in a 375F oven for 25-30 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
* If your eggplant is a touch bitter, before roasting, sprinkle the eggplant with salt to help remove excess moisture and bitterness from the eggplants. Set aside for about 10 minutes. Pat dry with a towel. No need to salt before roasting.