WHAT’S FOR DINNER? EGGPLANT ROLLS WITH RICOTTA GNOCCHI

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Mrsfoodiemumma – Marie Muccio, foodie, wife, mum of three and granddaughter – inspiring you to get excited about food!

There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of homemade gnocchi. That is unless you pair it with grilled eggplant rolls filled with fresh ricotta, spinach and basil.

Italian food is such a big part of my life and my cooking repertoire. There are so many wonderful recipes and this one is no exception. If you have tried my Nonnas gnocchi from an earlier edition then you are going to love this one! Did you know Gnocchi get their name from the words “nocchio” which means a knot in wood and or “nocca” meaning knuckle. This recipe comes from northern Italy where the climate is better for growing potatoes. The dish encompasses slices of grilled eggplant which are rolled up encasing fresh ricotta, spinach and basil. The rolls are baked in a beautiful sauce and then served together with soft pillows of fluffy gnocchi. In my opinion this dish Is the ultimate comfort food and perfect to warm you up on a cold winters day.

The gnocchi

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1tbs salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta

Method

In a large bowl place the flour and salt and mix. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and ricotta and mix until a dough starts to form. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently kneed until you have a ball of dough. Add a little more flour if it’s too sticky.

Divide into 4 and roll into sausage shapes and cut into 2-3cm pieces. Use a fork to roll the gnocchi to make indent and place on a tray lightly which has been lightly floured

The eggplant rolls

  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 cans baby Roma or cherry tomatoes
  • 1tbs oregano
  • Small bunch basil leaves picked
  • 2 medium eggplants sliced lengthways
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 200g fresh ricotta
  • 200g spinach wilted and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese plus extra

Method

Start by slicing your eggplants. I used a mandolin with a 1.5 attachment.

Working in batches place the sliced on a tray lined with baking paper and brush with olive oil and season well. Place under hot grill for 5 min until cooked and lightly golden and repeat until all the eggplant slices are cooked.

The sauce

  • Heat 1tbs olive oil in a large casserole pan or oven-proof dish.
  • Cook onion until soft, around 8 min.
  • Add garlic and cook for further min.
  • Add can tomatoes, oregano and basil leaves and season well. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Assembly

The eggplant rolls

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  • Place eggplant slice on a clean, flat working surface place a basil leaf in the centre followed by a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture. Roll the eggplant and fold over to enclose
  • Repeat
  • Gently place the eggplant rolls in your sauce and sprinkle with extra Parmesan
  • Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes until golden

The gnocchi

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to
    the boil
  • Cook gnocchi in batches for 3-4 minutes
  • Transfer gnocchi to the sauce with the eggplant rolls.

Serve with crusty bread!

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