We were waxing lyrical on Friday, sharing our love of the perfect late summer/early autumn aubergine crop, so for today's Meat Free Monday recipe we are sharing this absolute gem - Aubergine Involtini di Melanzane. There are many variations of this Italian classic, our version is topped with another seasonal favourite - roasted cherry tomato sauce.
Aubergine Involtini di Melanzane
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
- 3 medium aubergines 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 Romano red peppers
For the cherry tomato sauce:
- 600g cherry or small sweet ripe tomatoes, on the vine
- 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- pinch of sugar
- balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar handful of fresh basil, chopped
For the cheese filling:
- 250g ricotta
- 50g vegetarian hard cheese, grated 2 free-range eggs
- grating of nutmeg
- sea salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
- Cut the stalk off the aubergine and stand it up on the cut end. Slice down the length into even slices, about 5mm thick. Rub the slices in the oil, then spread in a single layer over 2 baking trays and cook for 15–20 minutes,until soft to the touch but not too brown. Alternatively, cook them on a griddle.
- Slice the peppers lengthways and remove the seeds and stalk. Rub with olive oil and roast until the skins are beginning to blacken. Place in a bowl and cover with cling film. When cool, peel off the skin and slice into lengths to match the width of the aubergine slices.
- To make the sauce, place the tomatoes and garlic in a roasting tray and drizzle over the oil. Roast for 20–30 minutes or until the garlic is soft and can be squeezed from its skin.
- Allow to cool, then remove the tomatoes from the vine and place in a blender (we use our Froothie Optimum 9200 Power Blender)
- Squeeze the garlic from its skin, add to the blender with the tomatoes and purée until smooth. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and the pinch of sugar, if needed. If it is a little sweet, then add a few drops of vinegar. Lastly, add the chopped basil.
- To make the cheese filling, whisk together the ricotta, grated cheese, eggs and nutmeg, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- To make the rolls, lay out an aubergine slice, put a tablespoon of cheese filling at the bottom end and a slice of roasted pepper on top, then roll up and place in a greased baking dish. Repeat the process to use up all the aubergine and cheese mixture.
- Spoon the tomato sauce over the top of the aubergine rolls, and drizzle a little extra olive oil over the top. Bake for 20 minutes until the filling inside the rolls is set.
Pictures by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.
Have a look here for some more of our favourite aubergine recipes and, if you're feeling inspired to learn more about cooking fabulous creative vegetarian and vegan food have a look at our course calendar and sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date.
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