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Eggplant and Ricotta Involtini

Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


Tomato Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 16 oz. can tomatoes or 1 lb fresh tomatoes
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes


  • 2 cups ricotta
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs (either storebought or from days-old bread)
  • 1 lemon -zest and juice
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped


  • 2-3 large globe eggplants
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup heavy cream (can substitute almond or rice milk)
  • ¼ cup grated parmigiana cheese


Prep the Eggplant

  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Using a mandoline or sharp chef's knife, slice eggplants lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Make 12 slices. Sprinkle slices with salt, stack side by side in a colander, and let drain for 1 hour. Squeeze out the extra water and place on paper towels for 10 minutes. Grease a cookie sheet with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and bake eggplant slices for 10 minutes on each side. They should be soft and ready for rolling.

Tomato Sauce

  • To make the tomato sauce, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook 2 minutes until fragrant. Add carrot and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt and cook for 10 minutes until sauce begins to thicken. Set aside.


  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix ricotta, bread crumbs, rosemary, lemon juice and zest. Set aside.


  • Using a medium baking dish, pour in all the tomato sauce. Then place a spoonful of filling at the end of eggplant slice and roll up tightly. Place the eggplant rolls in the baking dish on top of the tomato sauce. Pour heavy cream over top of the eggplant rolls to moisten.
  • Bake for 25 minutes at 425° F. Garnish with parmigiana cheese.


Some recipes call for frying the eggplant slices in olive oil on the stovetop to prepare them for rolling. I like to use this oven roasting method because it uses much less oil and works just fine. 
Also, if you end up with extra, random-sized eggplant pieces, use them in a vegetable stew or soup. Buon appetito!