Eggplant Rolls w/ Spicy Tomato Sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp. dried hot red pepper flakes
- 7 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1½ lb. plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1-1¼ lb. eggplant
- 12½ oz. ricotta cheese
- (preferably fresh; 1½ cups)
- 1½ oz. (1/2 cup) finely grated
- 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
Cook garlic and red pepper flakes in 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy 2-quart pan over moderate heat. Stir until garlic is golden, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.
Grill eggplant while sauce cooks:
Heat grill pan over high heat until hot.
Peel 2-inch-wide strips of skin from opposite sides of eggplant and discard. Holding a
knife parallel to a peeled side, cut eggplant lengthwise into 8 (1/3-inch-thick) slices. Brush both sides of slices with 3 tablespoons oil (total). Season with salt and pepper.
Grill slices in batches, turning once and brushing grilled sides with some of remaining oil, until golden brown and tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a tray.
Assemble eggplant rolls:
Stir together cheeses, 2 tablespoons basil, pepper and remaining salt. Divide cheese mixture among slices (3 to 4 tablespoons per slice), leaving an 1/8-inch border along edge. Roll up each slice, beginning with a short end. Serve rolls topped with sauce and sprinkled with remaining basil
Eggplant can be grilled using a gas grill. Preheat all burners on high, covered, 10 minutes, then reduce heat to medium. Grill eggplant on lightly oiled grill rack, covered with lid, turning over once, until tender and grill marks appear, 4 to 5 minutes total.