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Sure. REC: Eggplant Manicotti, by Anne Casale

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Joined: Dec 14, 2005

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Posted to Thread #7253 at 4:38 am on Jul 17, 2007

MANICOTTI DI MELANZANE

Serves 6 as a main course; 8 as a first course.

TOMATO SAUCE:
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups canned concentrated crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon minced fresh basil or 1/2 tsp. crumbled dried basil
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly milled black pepper
1 jar (7 oz.) roasted red bell peppers. well drained and finely chopped

In a 2-qt. saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until haze forms. Turn heat down to low and saute onion until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except peppers. Turn heat up to medium and cook sauce uncovered, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in peppers and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Set aside.

EGGPLANT:
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium eggplants (2-1/4 lbs.)
1/2 cup olive oil (approximately)

Position rack 6 inches from broiler and preheat oven to broil setting Coat a large jelly roll pan with 3 Tbs. olive oil.

Wash eggplants and dry with paper towel. Trim the tops and bottoms of eggplants, but don't peel. Cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices, discarding the first and last slice of each eggplant. Lightly brush both sides of each slice with olive oil. Arrange slices in a single layer in pan; do not crowd (do in two batches if necessary. Broil for 3 minutes on each side, or until very lightly golden. Layer slices on paper towel, with more paper towels between layers to absorb some of the moisture. Let eggplant cool slightly while making filling.

FILLING:
1-1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
4 oz. whole milk Mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated
1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
2 Tbs. finely minced Italian parsley leaves
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly milled black white pepper

Mash all cheeses together with a fork. Mix in the parsley. Stir in the egg yolks, salt and pepper and mix until well combined.

TO ASSEMBLE AND COOK
3 Tbs. freshly grated Romano cheese
1 Tbs. minced Italian parsley

Adjust rack to center of oven and preheat to 350*F.

Evenly spread 1/4 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a large jelly roll pan

Line up eggplant slices on work surface with short ends facing you. Spoon 1-1/2 Tbs. filling in the center of each slice. With a spatula, spread filling, leaving a 1/2-inch margin on all sides. Starting with the short end, roll up like a jelly roll. Arrange eggplant rolls seam side down in prepared pan. Spoon 1 Tbs. sauce over each roll.

Bake for 25 minutes. Do not fret if the filling starts to ooze out during the first 10 minutes; it will be firm by time they are finished baking.

To serve, arrange in a single layer on a large platter. Sprinkle a little Romano cheese on top of each roll and garnish with minced parsley. Serve with remaining sauce.

from <i>Italian Family Cooking</i> by Anne Casale

My notes: I've only made this twice, and I made a mental note not to try to broil the egglant next time, because my broiler burns easily. I plan to salt them first so they won't absorb so much oil, then just saute them in batches.

The flavors are subtle and wonderful. Even though the sauce should be used sparingly, so it doesn't drown out the other flavors, I would double it. There's not a lot left for serving, and it's also good on its own.


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