From Alexandra Stafford — who I hope you observe, as you can be so impressed, too — I ended up including lemon zest to the filling and ending the dish with lemon juice. I completely like it right here however should you’re not into lemon, you possibly can skip it. Should you don’t need make the sauce, you need to use 3 cups ready sauce as an alternative. I bake the eggplant in 2 cups, and use the final 1 cup for serving.
To roast: Switch to oven and cook dinner for 10 to 12 minutes on the primary aspect, then flip every slice and roast for an additional 8 to 10 on the second, till browned on either side.
To grill: Grill over sturdy warmth till darkish marks seem on either side, about 8 minutes for the primary aspect and 5 minutes for the second.
For each strategies: Set eggplant apart to chill. In case your oven isn’t already heated to 425, achieve this now.
Whereas eggplant cools, make the sauce: Warmth 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 11- to 12-inch pot over medium, add minced garlic, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and a pinch or three of crimson pepper flakes, and dried oregano. Prepare dinner for one minute. Add tomatoes (it should splatter, watch out) and stir. Prepare dinner at a simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. Whereas it simmers, assemble your eggplant rolls.
When the sauce is finished, style and add extra seasoning, as wanted. Should you’d prefer it smoother, you possibly can mix to your required consistency. This yields 3 cups sauce. Earlier than assembling, ladle out 1 cup sauce and set it apart for serving. In case your pan you made the sauce in is ovenproof, you’re good to go. If it’s not, switch all however 1 cup reserved sauce to a 2-quart baking dish.
Assemble the involtini: In a bowl, mix ricotta, mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmesan, lemon zest, about 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some grinds of black pepper. Place about 1 tablespoon on the finish of every full-sized slice of cooked eggplant, rather less on small ones, utilizing all the filling, Roll right into a cigar. Place every roll in ready sauce, seam aspect down.
Bake: Brush tops of eggplant rolls evenly with olive oil and bake uncovered roughly half-hour, till bubbly across the edges and browned on high. Squeeze lemon juice excessive and scatter with basil leaves earlier than serving. Serve sizzling, with reserved sauce and extra grated parmesan cheese, if desired, on the aspect.
Serve with: Garlic bread, maybe? Or spaghetti, if in case you have youngsters or kids-at-heart.