Eggplant Manicotti

Eggplant Manicotti

  • 1 lb eggplant
  • 1½ cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cups mozzarella, grated 
  • ½ cups parmesan, grated plus extra for 
  • ¼ cups basil leaves, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cups spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups tomato sauce*
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices and generously salt both sides of each slice. Let the salt draw out the moisture from the eggplant for 20 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, fold together all three cheeses with about half of the basil, spinach and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  4. Rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry with a paper or kitchen towel.
  5. Brush each slice, front and back, with the remaining olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes to make the slices more tender and pliable then cool on the baking sheet.
  6. Add about 2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture to narrower end of a slice of eggplant. Roll up the filling and, if necessary, use a toothpick to keep everything in place. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices.
  7. Spoon some of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a baking dish, arranging the eggplant manicotti rolls so that they lay in the pan seam-side down in a single layer. If you used toothpicks you can remove them at this time.
  8. Spoon the remaining sauce over the top of the manicottis and bake them for 30 minutes or until they've heated all the way through and the cheese is bubbly.
  9. To plate, spoon some of the hot tomato sauce onto the middle of the plate, then, using a thin spatula, remove the manicottis and place on the plate, sprinkle with basil and more parmesan cheese.

*Use your favorite recipe or store bought (we like Bertolli's Organic in a pinch) and check back later this summer for Vibrant Valley Farm's own tomato sauce recipe.