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Eggplant Lasagna Rolls
1 h 45 m
“Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will devour these comforting lasagna rolls. We use thinly sliced eggplant in place of pasta to cut the carbs. Preroasting the eggplant helps develop the flavor and softens the slices for easy rolling.”
3 large eggplants
½ teaspoon salt, divided
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups crushed tomatoes
½ cup chopped fresh basil, divided
3 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2½ cups part-skim ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1Position racks in the middle and upper third of oven; preheat to 425°F. Coat 2 rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray.
2Slice each eggplant lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick strips. Discard any small or misshapen pieces. You should have about 24 strips. Sprinkle the strips with ¼ teaspoon salt and let stand for 15 minutes.
3Pat the eggplant slices dry and brush both sides with oil. Place on the prepared pans, overlapping the slices a little if necessary. Roast until soft and beginning to brown, swapping the pans from top to bottom midway, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
4Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, ¼ cup basil, 2 teaspoons garlic and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Spread ½ cup of the mixture in a broiler-safe 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Squeeze spinach to remove any excess liquid. Combine the spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, pepper and the remaining 1 teaspoon garlic in a medium bowl.
5When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, spread a generous tablespoon of the ricotta mixture on each slice. Starting from the narrowest end, roll up the slices and place in the baking pan seam-side down. Top with the remaining tomato mixture.
6Bake the rolls on the middle rack until the tomato mixture is hot and bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and preheat the broiler to high.
7Top the rolls with mozzarella. Broil until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup basil and serve.