Friday, 3 June 2011

Rotolini di Melanzana ( Mozzarella filled Aubergine- Eggplant Rolls)

This is a truly fantastic dish, very closely related to Parmigiana, but somehow lighter, I would say. It's a good dish for a buffet, as it's good eaten hot or cold, with a slice of crusty bread.

To me, this is a family dish, so easy to share, as you don't have to serve it: just place the dish in the middle of the table, so people can help themselves. No matter how many rotolini you prepare, I can assure you there will be no left overs. 
Before you start preparing your aubergines (eggplant) you need to make a basic tomato sauce.
Tomato Sauce

A few glugs of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
750 mls (1 1/2 pt) passata
fresh basil
 Grated Parmesan cheese
(as much as you like!)
In a deep pan, heat the olive oil. When piping hot, add your chopped onion, fry until golden, then add your passata. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, with a lid on, medium to low heat. Add a lot of fresh basil, some salt, pepper, and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Easy!

Next, for the aubergines


2 aubergines (eggplant) sliced lengthways,(1/2 cm thick) skin on
plain flour, two or three handfuls
salt, pepper
4 eggs, beaten
more Parmesan
a small bunch of chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
2 fresh Italian mozzarelle
3 cloves garlic, chopped
some oil for frying
Slice two medium sized aubergines, about 1/2 cm thick. Put the flour, salt and pepper in a bag, followed by the aubergine slices, shake until these are coated, then, two slices at a time, dip in the eggs ( which you would have previously cracked into a bowl, beaten and flavoured with Parmesan, salt, pepper and chopped parsley.) Make sure every slice is coated in flour and then beaten egg.
In a frying pan, heat some oil and when really hot, fry the coated aubergine slices until golden, place onto kitchen paper (this will absorb most of the oil) and carry on until every slice is cooked.


You should have about fifteen slices, ready to be filled. Like my mum taught me, I arrange my aubergine slices onto a board, almost lined up like little soldiers. I have my mozzarella, chopped, my garlic chopped as well, a nice little bunchlet of parsley, some salt, pepper and my Parmesan ready to be grated, at the end. I place some mozzarella, salt, pepper, parsley and garlic in the middle of each slice. When each one of them is ready, I sprinkle lots of Parmesan all over, like a snow shower. It looks very pretty!

By this point, that fantastic combination (garlic, parsley, black pepper and cheese) reaches my nostrils and fills my minds with lots of culinary memories (just my mum and I in our kitchen!) and I have to shake myself up, as my slices need to be rolled up and secured with a cocktail stick, one at a time.


Next, I place some of the tomato sauce at the bottom of an oven proof dish and arrange my rotolini so they are close to each other in the dish, and I finish off by almost covering the dish in tomato sauce. Again, a generous sprinkling of cheese and some black pepper will complete my dish, which... is now ready to be baked
(220C/420F/gas7) until the sauce is bubbling and the top of the dish is beginning to brown.

Every time I cook this dish or Parmigiana, I get a few burnt "spots" ( not on me, on the dish!) This is ok, as the burnt "bits" actually make your "rotolini" taste better (or so I was led to believe by my mother!

Love it!
These are really good eaten with some crusty bread, like ciabatta, baguette, or panini and are really easy to make.


  1. Hello again Anna, As always your dishes look so wonderful and the photographs are brilliant. I can't wait to try this one as the melting tastes of Aubergine and Mozzarella must be perfect together.
    In reply to your comment on my blog, do you mean getting the people's photos along-side their blog names on your site? If so and you find out how to, can you tell me? I would like to do that too...

  2. Well, Jane... I read a comment on your blog, according to which the problem with the missing followers could be solved by downloading Firefox. I use AOL as a server, but also have Firefox, so I accessed my blog through Firefox and... there were all my followers, new and old!
    Pleased you like my recipe. Try it! It's very delicate and yes... mozzarella melting inside a slice of aubergine is so good! And my sauce, made with onions and basil is light and fragrant...