Monday, October 12, 2009

Involtini di Melanzane

This turned out to be quite the comical looking recipe!

I had some nice shiny eggplant and decided to make involtini di melanzane. I sliced the eggplant lengthwise and baked in a 400 deg oven for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile I mixed together the following: chopped sundried tomatoes, dash of olive oil, grated parmiggiano, fresh basil and oregano, chopped pine nuts, a little prosciutto. (btw you can totally leave out the cheese) When the eggplant slices had softened, I spread a little (tablespoon or less) of the mix on them and rolled them up.

The comical part came when I realized, whoops!, no toothpicks to hold the involtini together. haha! I searched the kitchen...uh incense sticks...nooooo. AH- metal kabab skewers might work! (everything I make lately is stuck on those dang skewers, probably the best purchase I ever made haha!)

I also made a little tomato sauce to go on top of the involtini. You want to know a little tomato sauce secret? When I was a kid I would play at my good friend's house all the time - she had Atari AND ColecoVision AND a pool! Invariably her Hindu mom would make us spaghetti for dinner. I loved it! Her mom's spaghetti tasted so different and so much better than my mom's! Why?

Years later I realized the secret - she added a dash of cumin to the sauce. Just a tiny pinch gives an exotic flavor. I also add a pinch of cinnamon. Just a tiny pinch. You can't put your finger on it but the sauce tastes yummy! I sauteed some garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes in olive oil and then added a can of chopped tomatoes and a splash of red wine, plus the spices. Simmer for 10-15 and you have a nice sauce.

After the involtini are rolled up and stabbed with (hopefully) toothpicks, top with some tomato sauce and pop back in the oven until the eggplant is cooked - 10 minutes or so.

Enjoy! :)

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