It’s been the first full week of self-isolation and keeping myself busy is an understatement. I had a list as long as my arm of unaccomplished jobs that I had been trying to fit in for a while. These days, I’m ticking off at least a couple of jobs a day and that can’t be a bad thing.
During the first week, I was approached by the lovely Rumbie from Uk supper clubs who came up with the wonderful idea to create a virtual community where we could freely share ‘cook alongs’ and recipes to give others inspiration. The first weeks’ theme was Italian, so I obviously jumped at the chance. So, these Sicilian aubergine rolls were the first recipe video cook along that I shared since the official lockdown. I wanted to share a recipe that was not so obviously Italian and didn’t involve pasta as that is usually what pops into peoples heads. I had so much fun, filming it. I made sure that I put on fun disco playlist to cook too and of course, I applied my favourite red lipstick, (I always cook with my lippy on) and had as much as fun as possible. That’s what cooking really means to me.
To watch the whole video, scroll down.
These aubergine rolls are a dish that I teach at my cooking experiences and always goes down a treat. These look pretty fancy when served at a dinner party but are a lot easier to make than they look. It has 3 key steps. Making the tomato sauce, the aubergine preparation and stuffing. These aubergine rolls, remind me so much of the beautiful simple cuisine in southern Italy. Vegetables are so versatile and love how they are a key focus to many dishes
VEGETARIAN AUBERGINE ROLLS
Vegetarian Aubergine Rolls
2 medium sized aubergines
- Pork, pine nuts and raisin mix
250g pork mince
10g pine nuts
30g parmesan, grated
Fresh parsley, handful, chopped
- Vegetarian spinach and ricotta mix
20g parmesan, grated
15g pine nuts
Zest of 1 lemon
- Tomato sauce
1 tin of peeled tomatoes
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh basil leaves
- First, make the tomato sauce. Empty the tin tomatoes straight into a saucepan, top with the chopped garlic and season with salt. Add half a can of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C
- Slice the green top and bottom of each aubergine. You want to be able to stand it flat on your chopping board. Then, carefully slice long vertical slices, about 0.5cm thick.
- Place on a baking tray. Then brush olive oil on both sides and season with salt. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the slices have slightly softened so you can easily roll it with your stuffing. Set aside.
- In the meantime, make your stuffing.
Vegetarian: Wilt your spinach in a colander with boiling water. Allow it cool down and ensure to squeeze out any excess water. Place it in a bowl and mix in the ricotta, parmesan, pine nuts, lemon zest and season with salt.
Meat: Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl and season. Top tip: to ensure that the meat is well-seasoned. Fry a teaspoon of the mixture in a little oil to taste first to ensure you’re happy.
- Now, place a tablespoon of filling at the end of each aubergine slice, and roll until the end. Repeat until you have finished with your stuffing.
- Bake in the oven for another 12 minutes for the vegetarian, 20 minutes for the meat rolls.
- The tomato sauce should now be ready. Take off the heat, drizzle with olive oil and stir in fresh basil leaves. Serve the aubergine rolls with the tomato sauce on top.