By Scott Koeneman / Fight theFatFoodie.com
Traditional eggplant Parmesan was the first dish I can remember making, many years ago, and having one of those "WOW" moments. I absolutely loved the layered flavors of the crispy fried eggplant, creamy cheese and a spicy sauce. That said, and despite being made with eggplant, traditional eggplant Parmesan is not generally a healthy dish. I loved my first effort at a healthier eggplant Parmesan. It was one of the first dishes I posted on this blog.
That version closely followed the traditional, using lighter ingredients and baking the eggplant instead of frying it. For this version, inspired by a recipe I saw on Epicurious.com, I took a different tack. For this version, I grilled the eggplant and rolled the cheese up in it. I put it on a bed of linguine and toped it with a hearty sauce. I really enjoyed this dish. The eggplant is truly front and center here. But, I have to say, I still love the traditional version.
I served these over a bed of whole wheat linguine, but found that to actually be a little too much. With linguine, this dish is 388 calories with 10 grams of fat and 9 of fiber. Try it without the pasta for only 238 calories with 9 grams of fat and 6 of fiber.
Eggplant Parmesan Roll-ups
Makes 4 servings
3 teaspoons olive oil (divided)1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
8 ounces sliced brown mushrooms
1 clove garlic,
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes1 teaspoon salt
1 (1 1/4-lb) eggplant
1 cup low-fat ricotta
1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons Parmesan, shredded
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 ounces whole wheat linguine
Preheat oven to 350F and put water for linguine on to boil.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat and add onion and green pepper. Cook until just tender. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and continue to cook another 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 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 skin from eggplant and discard. Cut eggplant long-ways into 8 (1/3-inch-thick) slices. Lightly rush both sides of slices with 2 teaspoons oil (total), then season with salt and pepper. Grill slices in batches, turning over once l, until golden brown and tender, about 4 minutes, then transfer to a tray.
Stir together ricotta and 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil, pepper, and remaining salt. Divide cheese mixture among slices. Roll up each slice. Place rolls in a small casserole dish and bake until cheese starts to melt, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook linguine to package directions.
Serve rolls over linguine, topped with sauce and sprinkled with 1 tablespoon Parmesan each.