We just returned from ten fabulous days in France, spending half our stay in Provence, and the other half in the French Alps so my husband and his friends could climb mountains on their bikes.
5 Tablespoons Olive OiL
1 Small Onion, Finely Diced
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
3 Cans (14 Ounces) Finely Chopped Tomatoes (I Prefer Mutti Brand)
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Basil
Salt & Pepper To Taste
1/2 Teaspoon Red Hot Chili Flakes (Optional)
For The Rollups:
4 to 5 Large Eggplants, Unpeeled, Cut Into 1/2-inch Slices
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
10 Ounces Fine Spaghetti or Capellini
8 Cups Tomato Sauce (Recipe Below)
3/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese
3/4 Cup Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until lightly sizzling.
- Add the onion, and stirring often, cook until translucent, about 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, just another minute or two.
- Next, add the tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, and chili flakes if using.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until thickened.
- While the sauce is cooking, preheat the broiler to high heat.
- Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with olive oil.
- Place eggplant slices side by side on the prepared sheet, then lightly brush with oil.
- Broil the slices until lightly browned, then turn over and brown the other side.
- Remove the browned slices to a plate and continue to brown the rest of the eggplant.
- Cook the pasta until very “al dente” in a pot of lightly salted water. (The pasta will continue to cook in the oven.)
- Drain the pasta, then place in a bowl along with 6 cups of the prepared tomato sauce, and half the Pecorino cheese.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a large baking pan with about 1 cup of the sauce.
- On a cutting board, lay out eggplant slices.
- Spoon in a teaspoon or so of the ricotta cheese in the center, then place a small handful of pasta on top.
- Fold over the eggplant to encase the filling and place it in the prepared pan.
- Continue to finish all the eggplant slices in the same manner.
- Spoon the remaining sauce on the eggplant rollups, and then sprinkle the remaining Pecorino cheese on top.
- Bake until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes, then serve and enjoy!