Home » Main Course » Lemon Basil Ricotta Stuffed Eggplant Involtini

PREP : 35 MIN | COOK : 55 MIN| TOTAL : 1H30 | SERVE : 6

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Lemon Basil Ricotta Stuffed Eggplant Involtini are fantastic for your summer lunches or dinners. Vibrant with Italian flavors of roasted eggplants, fresh ricotta, lemon zest and fresh basil leaves, the Involtini are baked on a layer of garlic tomato sauce, with bursting cherry tomatoes. The flavor profile of these Involtini makes them the perfect match for a light and fruity Sangiovese based wine, such as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Rosso di Montalcino or Chianti Classico. Try them out and let me know what you think!


Lemon ricotta stuffed eggplant involtini with cherry tomatoes in a plate with a fork and knife

A few details about the recipe

Involtini loosely translate to “rolls” in Italian. These Involtini are made with eggplants, one of the most versatile summer vegetable. Here, eggeplants are sliced into ribbons, roasted in the oven and rolled up with a tangy lemony and basil loaded ricotta cheese filling.

Once shaped, the Involtini are then baked on a bed of garlicky tomato sauce, topped with roasted cherry tomatoes and melted Pecorino Romano. Heaven on earth!

Vibrant and bursting with flavors, it is a perfect dish to use the overload of vegetable that summer offers. The tanginess of tomatoes and lemon is balanced by the creaminess of ricotta, while basil brings everything together.

And..! It is also a great recipe to make when having people over, as you can easily make it in advance and bake it just when your guests arrive. A summer must!


an eggplant, a lemon, cherry tomatoes and a bowl of basil lemon ricotta stuffing on a wooden table

What to serve this with?

These Lemon Basil Ricotta Stuffed Involtini can be served as a main course, following this Panzanella (Toscan Summer Salad). It can also be served as a starter for heartier meals, along with Gnudi (Spinach and Ricotta Dumplings) for a genuine Tuscan feast!

🍷Wine Pairing for Lemon Basil Ricotta Stuffed Eggplant Involtini


The Match

Sangiovese!

A light and fruity Sangiovese wine from Tuscany.

WINE APPELLATION SUGGESTIONS

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Tuscany, Italy)
Rosso di Montalcino (Tuscany, Italy)
Chianti Classico (Tuscany, Italy)


Lemon Basil Ricotta Stuffed Eggplant Involtini in a rustic frying pan with a spoon

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make it in advance?

Sure can! These Involtini can be made the day before (minus the grated Pecorino cheese) and stored in the fridge covered with cling film. The next day, sprinkle grated Percorino and bake as instructed in the recipe.

How long does this keep?

These Lemon Basil Ricotta Stuffed Eggplant Involtini can be kept for up to 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container.

Can these be frozen?

Yes, but I recommend freezing the Involtini only (not the sauce). Freeze the Involtini in a single layer on a tray lined with parchment paper. Once frozen, transfer them to a ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to one month.

Other delicious Italian inspired recipes

Recipe

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Lemon Basil Ricotta Stuffed Involtini sprinkled with Pecorino and cherry tomatoes in a frying pan

Lemon Basil Ricotta Stuffed Eggplant Involtini

  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the roasted eggplant slices

2 large eggplants

8 tablespoons (120 ml) of extra-virgin olive oil

For the lemon, basil and ricotta filling

2 cups (500 g) of ricotta cheese

the zest of 3 lemons

1 and ½ cups (30 g) of basil leaves, thinly chopped

1 tablespoon (5 ml) of extra-virgin olive oil

⅛ teaspoon of freshly cracked green pepper

¼ teaspoon of sea salt

For the garlicky tomato sauce

1 can (2 cups / 400 g) of good quality tomato pulp

3 big cloves of garlic, crushed

3 tablespoons (45 ml) of extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup (50 ml) of water

¼ teaspoon of sea salt

For the topping

1 cup (100 g) of grated Pecorino cheese (or Parmesan)

1 and ½ cup (200 g) of cherry tomatoes (feel free to use a mix a varieties and colors)

a handful of fresh basil leaves, to sprinkle on top just before serving

Instructions

Start by preparing the tomato sauce

  1. In a saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of extra-virgin olive oil with the crushed garlic cloves.
  2. As soon as the garlic starts becoming fragrant (and not brown), add the tomato pulp, ¼ cup (50 ml) of water and a pinch of sea salt.
  3. Let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes over low flame and stir regularly.
  4. Set aside.

Meanwhile, slice and roast the eggplants

  1. Preheat the oven at 480°F (250°C).
  2. Wash and cut off the stems and blossoms of the eggplants.
  3. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, slice the eggplants lengthwise, into 0,2 inches (0,5cm) thick slices.
  4. Line the eggplant slices onto a parchment lined oven tray.
  5. Drizzle the eggplant slices with 4 tablespoons (60 ml) of extra-virgin olive oil.
  6. Roast them in the oven until golden (about 15 minutes), then set them aside.
  7. Repeat the process as you will need to make two batches to roast all the eggplant slices.

Prepare the filling

  1. In a mixing bowl, add the ricotta cheese, lemon zests, thinly chopped basil, extra-virgin olive oil, cracked green pepper and sea salt.
  2. Stir with a spoon until well combined.

Assemble the Involtini

  1. Preheat your oven at 390°F (200°C).
  2. In a large baking dish, poor the tomato sauce and spread evenly.
  3. Then, on each roasted eggplant slices, spoon a tablespoon of the ricotta mix on the thiner edge and roll gently.
  4. Transfer the rolls to the baking dish, on top of the tomato sauce.
  5. Repeat the process until all the slices are stuffed and the baking dish filled.
  6. Add the cherry tomatoes on top.
  7. Sprinkle the Pecorino cheese.
  8. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until slightly golden and bubbly.
  9. Sprinkle extra fresh basil leaves and serve immediately.
  • Author: Ninon
  • Prep Time: 35
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Eggplant involtini, lemon basil ricotta stuffing, tomato sauce


a spoon digging into a pan of eggplant Involtini with tomato sauce

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