Eggplant Rolls Filled with Basil and Cheese
For the Tomato Sauce
Make the tomato sauce: In a heavy skillet cook the onion in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes, stir in the garlic, and cook the mixture, stirring, until the onion is softened. Add the tomatoes, the sugar, and salt to taste and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring, for 20 minutes. Force the mixture through the fine disk of a food mill set over a saucepan and cook the sauce over moderately high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is thickened to the desired consistency.
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 pounds tomatoes, chopped coarse
a pinch of sugar
For the Eggplant Rolls
a 1-pound eggplant
1 cup grated mozzarella (about 1/4 pound)
3 1/2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) mild, soft goat cheese such as Montrachet,
at room temperature
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
fresh basil leaves for garnish
Make the eggplant rolls: With a hand-held slicing device or large sharp knife cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Sprinkle the slices on both sides with salt and let them drain in a colander for 30 minutes. In a bowl stir together the mozzarella, the goat cheese, and the shredded basil. Pat the eggplant dry, arrange one layer of it on the oiled rack of a broiler pan, and brush it with some of the oil. Broil the eggplant under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it is golden. Turn the eggplant, brush it with some of the remaining oil, and broil it for 3 to 4 minutes more, or until it is golden. Transfer the eggplant to a large platter to cool and broil the remaining eggplant, brushing it with the remaining oil, in the same manner. Spread a mounded teaspoon of the cheese mixture lengthwise down the middle of each eggplant slice, leaving a 1-inch border at the wide end, and, beginning at the narrow end, roll up the eggplant jelly-roll fashion. Arrange the rolls, seam sides down, in an oiled flameproof shallow baking dish just large enough to hold them in one layer and broil them for 3 minutes, or until the cheese is just melted and bubbling.
Transfer the eggplant rolls with a spatula to serving plates, spoon the tomato sauce over them, and garnish the rolls with the basil leaves.
Makes about 12 rolls, serving 4 as a first course or 6 as a side dish.
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