Lightened up Eggplant Baked Spinach Rollatini, all the flavor without the unnecessary "fried" fat.
Cooking for an ABCD (American Born Confused Desi) is not easy, especially if he/she can't handle spice.
Mr. Honey What's Cooking is all about Asian, Mexican and Italian food, and gauging from my Instastories, it's quite evident how little Indian food I've been making lately. For a food blogger who is of Indian origin and LOVES spice, that is NOT easy.
Each time I make something, I have Mr. Honey What's Cooking rate my dish so I know what to improve on. He usually gives me an 8, 9, or 10 with constructive criticism.
Nonetheless, when I whipped up this Baked Eggplant Spinach Rollatini, Mr. Honey What's Cooking was super excited. What's not to love... lots of cheese, Rao's sauce, and it's not exactly a "healthy" meal.
I threw in some crushed red pepper just cause, I mean, how do I make cheesy Italian without spice, it would be far too bland. I waited in anticipation to see if he'd say something about the spice, but instead he said, "this is the best dish you've ever made, this is a 10+."
Say what? That was music to my ears. I then proceeded to ask him about the spice level to which he responded, "I can feel it, but it's not bad." Hmmm... not bad because he liked the dish.
After living with my husband for five months now, I've figured him out. If he likes something a lot, he'll deal with the spice. These days I'm all about building his tolerance to spice so my life is a little less stressful in the kitchen. Hope you guys try this dish and enjoy it as much as we both did.
This Baked Eggplant Spinach Rollatini is:
Baked, not Fried
Easy to Prepare
Versatile (want carbs? add pasta. want greens? add salad)
Baked Eggplant Spinach RollatiniVegetarian, Gluten-free
- 1 large eggplant, sliced ¼ inch thick
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ package of 15 ounce part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 organic egg
- ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper, use 1 teaspoon for more spice
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- ½ frozen spinach, rinsed, thawed, squeeze out water
- 1.5 cups marinara sauce, use a good sauce, I love Rao's Marinara
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella, grated
- handful of fresh basil, julienne
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line 2 baking trays with foil.
- For the eggplant, in a bowl, combine extra virgin olive oil, smashed garlic, and oregano.
- Slice the eggplant into ¼ inch thick slices.
- Brush both sides of the eggplant the olive oil mix you prepared and line it on the foiled baking tray.
- Place the eggplant into the oven for 15 minutes.
- While the eggplant is baking, prepare the cheese mixture. Combine all the ingredients of the ricotta mixture into a bowl.
- Mix well.
- Remove from the oven, flip the eggplant and into the oven for another 15 minutes.
- The eggplant is done, let it cool. At this time reduce the oven to 375 degrees.
- Now line a 10 ½ inch by 7 inch baking tray with ½ cup of marinara sauce.
- Take 2 eggplant strips and using a mini-scoop, scoop the ricotta mixture onto the eggplant
- Spread it out.
- Roll each eggplant.
- Place into baking tray with marinara sauce.
- Do this for the remaining eggplant.
- Top each eggplant with a large spoonful of marinara sauce.
- Now top with a cup of mozzarella.
- Place the eggplant rollatini into the oven for 35 minutes at 375 degrees.
- This is what you should have. Top with fresh basil. Serve after 5 minutes once the flavors combine.
I'm not a big fan of eggplant but you make it look really good!
Ooooh maybe you can try it with zucchini, but it releases water so not sure how that will work. It's really good. 🙂
Priti Ruparelia says
Made this dish for dinner today...it turned out amazing! Rao's sauce transports an already super dish to an even higher level! Very pleased. A keeper.