Paola’s Sicilian Aubergine Rolls
These aubergine rolls are a dish that I teach at my cooking experiences and always goes down a treat. These look pretty fancy when served at a dinner party but are a lot easier to make than they look. It has three key steps; making the tomato sauce, the aubergine preparation and the stuffing. These aubergine rolls, remind me so much of the beautiful simple cuisine in southern Italy.
- 2 medium sized aubergines
Pork, pine nuts and raisin mix
- 250g pork mince
- 1 egg
- 15g raisins
- 10g pine nuts
- 30g parmesan, grated
- Fresh parsley, handful, chopped
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
Vegetarian spinach and ricotta mix
- 250g spinach
- 125g ricotta
- 20g parmesan, grated
- 15g pine nuts
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tin of peeled tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- Sea salt
- Filippo Berio Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh basil leaves
- First, make the tomato sauce. Empty the tin tomatoes straight into a saucepan, top with the chopped garlic and season with salt. Add half a can of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Slice the green top and bottom of each aubergine. You want to be able to stand it flat on your chopping board. Then, carefully slice long vertical slices, about 0.5cm thick.
- Place on a baking tray. Then brush olive oil on both sides and season with salt. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the slices have slightly softened so you can easily roll it with your stuffing. Set aside.
- In the meantime, make your stuffing. Vegetarian: Wilt your spinach in a colander with boiling water. Allow it cool down and ensure to squeeze out any excess water. Place it in a bowl and mix in the ricotta, parmesan, pine nuts, lemon zest and season with salt. Meat: Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl and season. Top tip: to ensure that the meat is well-seasoned. Fry a teaspoon of the mixture in a little oil to taste first to ensure you’re happy.
- Now, place a tablespoon of filling at the end of each aubergine slice, and roll until the end. Repeat until you have finished with your stuffing.
- Bake in the oven for another 12 minutes for the vegetarian, 20 minutes for the meat rolls.
- The tomato sauce should now be ready. Take off the heat, drizzle with olive oil and stir in fresh basil leaves. Serve the aubergine rolls with the tomato sauce on top.