Friday, March 27, 2015

How Corning Ware Does Italian - Eggplant Involti

Time for a crash course in Italian...   Involtini is the plural of Involtino meaning little package.  Involtino is the diminutive of Involto, package or bundle, and Involti would be the plural form.

Involtini, culinary-wise, usually refers to an appetizer, while Involto, being larger, is more of a main course fair.  Either way they are really the same thing, it's just a matter of size.

While Involti/Involtini can be wrapped in a variety of things and stuffed with even more interesting ingredients, I chose to keep it simple this time and go with an easy Ricotta cheese filling, bolstered by fresh bread crumbs.

Eggplant Involti

1 head of Garlic, Roasted
1 Sweet Onion, Chopped
1 Carrot, shredded
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 (28oz) can diced Tomatoes (Preferably Muir Glenn Fire Roasted Tomatoes)
3 Eggplants (about 1 lb each)
6 TB Olive Oil (not Extra Virgin)
Kosher salt and pepper
1 slice hearty white sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces (1 cup) whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 1/2 ounces grated Pecorino Romano cheese (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 TB Lemon Juice
1 tsp Lemon Zest

Corning Ware P-16-B - 11 inch Skillet (or A-10-B)
Corning Ware P-35 Broil and Bake Tray (your gonna need at least 2 of these, possibly 3)

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
Cut the top off the Garlic, drizzle with Olive oil (not Extra Virgin) and sprinkle with Salt and pepper.

Wrap in a foil package and Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Place the P-16 over medium flame and place 2 TB Olive Oil in the pan.

When hot, add the shredded Carrot and the chopped Onion.

Reduce the flame to low and sweat the vegetables until they begin to caramelize (30-40 minutes)
When the Garlic is roasted and cool to the touch, squeeze out the filling and smear it across your cutting board with a knife to turn it into a paste.

Add the Oregano, Red Pepper Flake, Roasted Garlic Paste and Tomatoes to the caramelized vegetables.

Simmer on low while dealing with the Eggplant.
Reduce the oven temperature to 375.
Peel the Eggplant…

Slice each eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick planks (you should have 12 -13 planks); trimming any rounded surface from each end piece so it lies flat.
Place Eggplant slices, in a single layer, on Parchment lined baking sheets. (I used 2 half sheet pans cause it would take 3 P-35s)

Brush the eggplant slices with Olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher Salt and Pepper.

Flip the Eggplant slices over and repeat.

Bake until tender and lightly browned (about 30 minutes), rotating the baking sheets half way through baking.

While the Eggplant is baking pulse the torn bread in food processor until finely ground.

Combine fresh bread crumbs, ricotta, 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, 1/4 cup basil, lemon juice, Lemon Zest and Salt in medium bowl; set aside.

When eggplant is done baking, remove from the oven and allow the Eggplant to cool for at least 5 minutes before attempting to handle.
Begin heating the broiler and check your sauce....  It should be nice and thick by now.....  (the eggplant will release a little more water and loosen the sauce a little bit)

Flip each piece of Eggplant over (the underside will be softer)
With widest ends of eggplant slices facing you, evenly distribute ricotta mixture on bottom third of each slice.

Gently roll up each eggplant slice…

and place seam side down in the simmering tomato sauce.

Bring the sauce back to a simmer and allow the Eggplant to cook for 5 minutes.
Transfer skillet to oven and broil until eggplant is well browned and cheese is heated through, 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove from the broiler and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano and let stand for 5 minutes so the cheese can melt slightly, then sprinkle with 1 TB of chopped Basil and serve......

Delicious with crusty sourdough bread....

Where is your Corning Ware??

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to try this. Thanks so much for the recipe.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.