Eggplant Involtini

Lasagna minus the pasta and rolled up

Lasagna minus the pasta and rolled up

Somehow this dish feels less indulgent than a lasagna even though it is very similar. It works in any season cozy for fall and winter and light enough in the spring or summer. This dish can easily be made vegetarian by leaving the meat out of the sauce.

If you want to add more vegetables, blanche a bag of spinach or kale, squeeze all the water out, chop and add to the cheese mixture. Instead of sausage in the sauce consider adding mushrooms. This is a great Sunday night meal because the leftovers will carry you into the week.


  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 15 oz container of ricotta
  • 1 ¼ cp parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • Bunch of basil
  • 1 small bag of spinach or kale (optional)
  • 1 ball of mozzarella
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb of spicy Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 carrots minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • Oregano
  • Thyme


  1. Slice the eggplant into quarter inch steaks, salt liberally and lay out on a rack over a baking sheet and let them sweat it out for about 30 minutes or so.
  2. In the meantime get your sauce going. Sauté the onion, carrots and garlic for 6 – 8 minutes in a pot adding salt, pepper oregano and thyme. Add the sausage to the pot breaking it up until cooked. Once the meat is cooked add the tomatoes and simmer on low, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Back to the eggplant. Turn your broiler on. Rinse off the eggplant and pat dry, laying out, in a single layer, on baking sheets covered with parchment paper. Oil, salt and pepper the eggplant. Broil the eggplant about 3 - 5 min per side until soft and pliable.
  4. Turn the broiler off and turn your oven on to 350 F. Let the eggplant cool and prepare the cheese mixture. In a bowl mix the ricotta, parmesan, egg, basil and a little salt and pepper. Lightly oil a glass or ceramic baking dish and put a ladle or two of sauce in the bottom of the pan. Prepare the involtini by taking each eggplant slice and putting a dollop of the cheese mixture on one end, then rolling it up and placing it seam side down in the baking dish. Continue until all of the eggplant slices have been rolled up.
  5. Top with sauce and slices of mozzarella. Oil up a piece of foil and cover the involtini. Bake for 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake until the cheese is bubbly. Put under the broiler to achieve maximum bubbly, golden cheesy perfection.
  6. This entire dish can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for the day or overnight. If you are cooking the dish from the refrigerator increase the cooking time 15 minutes.