Italian Aubergine Rolls Filled With Ricotta And Spinach In Tomato Sauce

These rolls are a variant on the traditional melanzane and taste super fresh and light.

Season: Summer
Servings: 2-3
Diet: Vegetarian, gluten free
Time: 60 minutes
Difficulty: Easy


Ingredients:
• 2 aubergines
• 250 gr. ricotta cheese
• 100 gr. parmesan
• 200 gr. spinach
• 1 clove of garlic grated
• Zest of 1 lemon
• Big handful of chopped basil leaves
• Pinch of chili flakes

Sauce:
• 2 tins of tomatoes
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 2 red onions
• 1 tsp. sugar
• Pinch of chili flakes

Optional toppings:
• Grated parmesan
• Basil leaves

Preparation:
1. To prepare the tomato sauce, slice the onions and fry in a large pan on a low heat in olive oil until soft. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and after 3 minutes the rest of the sauce ingredients plus a splash of water and cook for 30 minutes. When ready blitz the sauce smooth with a hand blender.
2. Preheat the oven on the highest grill setting.
3. Meanwhile slice the aubergine lengthwise in slices, put them in a colander and add a big teaspoon of salt. This is to release some of the moisture out of the aubergines. Wash the salt of with water after 10 minutes and dry with a (paper) kitchen towel. Put them on a baking tray and drizzle over some olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill them in the oven on the highest setting until it is cooked and got a nice colour. Keep an eye on the aubergines because it can go really fast and you don’t want to burn them.
4. When your aubergine is grilled, leave them to cool and preheat your oven to 180C.
5. Next, make the ricotta mixture. Cook the spinach for a minute and strain through a colander. Push out all the liquid with a big spoon.
6. Mix all the aubergine roll ingredients (ricotta, parmesan, spinach, garlic, lemon, basil and chili flakes) together, add a pinch of salt and pepper and divide onto the grilled aubergine slices and roll them up.
7. Add a layer of the tomato sauce in an oven dish and add the aubergine rolls on top of it.
8. Sprinkle over some extra parmesan and place in the oven for about 20 minutes.
9. Serve hot with some fresh basil on top!

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