Looking for a lower-carb alternative to lasagna? Try these delicious Eggplant Rollups filled with herbed ricotta and baked in your favorite marinara sauce. The eggplant is sliced into strips that are salted well to draw out excess moisture. Then the strips are baked until tender and noodle-like and rolled into tasty little cheese-filled bundles. Best of all, this hearty dish only requires five ingredients plus a few everyday pantry items to make. Serve Eggplant Rollups as a meatless main dish with a simple green salad or steamed broccoli, or along grilled fish or chicken as an extra-special side dish. The whole family will love this tasty and healthy pasta-free dish.
2 eggplants, cut lengthwise into 12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 (10-oz.) container whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, plus more basil for serving
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 cups marinara sauce
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved (about 1/2 cup)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°F. Sprinkle eggplant slices on both sides with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and place in a colander to drain 15 minutes. Rinse well, and press between 2 clean, absorbent towels to dry. Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on greased baking sheets. Rub eggplant slices on both sides with 3 tablespoons of the oil. Bake in preheated oven until just beginning to brown, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove eggplant from oven, and reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
While eggplant is baking, stir together ricotta, chopped basil, pepper, and remaining 3 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Pour 1 cup of the marinara into an 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Place 1 tablespoon ricotta mixture on 1 eggplant slice, and roll up from 1 short end. Place rollup, seam side down, in baking dish. Repeat with remaining ricotta mixture and eggplant slices. Top evenly with remaining 1/4 cup marinara.
Bake at 375°F until sauce is bubbly and warm and tops of rollups are very lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese and chopped basil. Serve immediately.