Rolled Eggplant with Capellini Pasta

Rolled Eggplant with Capellini Pasta
Note: 

I tasted this dish at the fabulous Trattoria Grappolo in Santa Ynez.  Before I was aware that they had a cookbook, I emailed the chef for the recipe, and he emailed it back to me within hours.  The first time I made it, I experimented on some friends, but luckily it turned out perfectly delicious, and we ate every last bite!

Tools needed: 
casserole pan
Time: 
1 hour
Ingredients: 
Ingredients:
2 large, elongated eggplant
2 cups olive oil for frying
2 cups flour, for dusting eggplant
12 slices smoked mozzerella cheese
1 cup tomato sauce or favorite red pasta sauce, heated, for drizzling over rolls prior to serving
Filling:
1/2 pound of capellini pasta
1 cup tomato sauce or favorite red pasta sauce
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
4 fresh basil leaves
Pinch of salt, pepper and dried oregano
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, add all the filling ingredients and mix well.  Meanwhile, cook the capellini according to package directions and drain.  Add capellini to the filling, mix well.
  3. Thinly slice the eggplant about 1/8-inch thick.  Dust each slice in flour and fry in olive oil until golden-brown.  Drain on pan using paper towels.  Line the slices of eggplant vertically and place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each eggplant slice.  Roll each eggplant slice and place in a baking dish.  Top with slices of mozzarella.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese is golden brown on top.  Serve 3 per person (for starters!), drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of warmed tomato or pasta sauce over top before serving.

NOTE:  I halved the filling mixture from the actual, "Grappolo-version" of this recipe, because we always had way too much filling left over.

Serves: 
4
Source: 
Trattoria Grappolo

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