Gennaro Contaldo’s baked aubergine rolls
- July 2017
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 40 min, oven time 15-20 min
Gennaro Contaldo‘s gorgeous baked aubergine rolls, also known as involtini di melanzane alla parmigiana, is a summery vegetarian recipe from southern Italy, where flavourful aubergines grow in abundance.
If you’re looking for something more autumnal, you could try swapping aubergine for squash like in this parmigiana recipe.
- Vegetarian recipes
- 27.2g (10.6g saturated)
- 8.8g (4.4g sugars)
- 1 large aubergine, cut lengthways into 6 slices about 5mm thick
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper
- Olive oil for shallow-frying
- 40g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
- 18 large fresh basil leaves, plus extra to serve
- 300g mozzarella, drained and roughly sliced
For the tomato sauce
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 400g tin plum tomatoes
- For the tomato sauce, heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a saucepan with a lid, add the onion and cook until softened. Stir in the tomatoes, season with salt and black pepper, then cover the pan with the lid and simmer gently for 25 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Dust the aubergine slices in the flour, then dip into the beaten egg. Pour 1cm oil into a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Fry the aubergine slices for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
- Line up the aubergine slices on a large chopping board, season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with 25g of the parmesan/vegetarian alternative. Place 3 basil leaves on each aubergine slice and top with half the mozzarella. Carefully roll up each slice, then place them seam-side down on the board so they don’t unravel.
- Line a large ovenproof dish (about 30cm by 20cm) with about a quarter of the tomato sauce and put the aubergine rolls on top, seam-side down – leave a couple of centimetres around each roll so they can cook properly. Spoon the rest of the tomato sauce over and around, then top with the remaining mozzarella slices and parmesan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown and beginning to bubble. Serve with extra basil leaves and a side salad.
If you prefer, rather than rolling the aubergine, you can make the recipe the traditional way, with layers of tomato sauce, aubergine slices, cheese and basil.
Make to the end of step 4 but don’t top with the cheese. Cover the baking dish with cling film and leave in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Top with the cheeses, then bake as in the recipe.
A ripe rosé or very light Italian red; try a red frappato, lightly chilled.
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