Have you ever eaten out, found something delicious that you then want to recreate in your home? I do often. One appetizer I find intriguing is Eggplant Rollatini. I’ve had exceptionally good experiences ordering it from one of our favorite “date night” restaurants Toscana’s in Peabody, MA. I’d never made it, or, lets be honest stopped to think about just what is in this dish. One night I found myself with several eggplants taking up room in my fridge, and since I knew I had a difficult audience for eggplant (other than disguising it in rolatinni…) I decided half way through boiling water for pasta that I’d whip some up.
Problem 1: I didn’t even look for a recipe, much less look at one while making it.
Problem 2: I had no ricotta cheese.
Problem 3: I thought I wouldn’t have enough homemade sauce for both meatballs and eggplant, so I used some weird store bought stuff, which tasted strangely sour, and had the misfortune of being “vodka sauce”
For some reason I thought because I had tasted it before, I could just make it. I’m sure this can be, or has been true. But, I honestly was not feeling it. I substituted cream cheese, mixed with shredded mozzerella, and grated pecorino romano cheese for ricotta, with a dash of water and milk, it almost resembled it – slightly more buttery, and the romano was surprisingly salty, probably could’ve mixed it a bit better…
Did I know that normally you bake the eggplant ahead of time, only after you dredge them in flour, then cover them in eggs and then and only then do you bake them filled with cheese? No. Not at all. It makes a LOT more sense to me now…
It makes a LOT of sense to me now, because whenever I order them at a restaurant there isn’t a sharp taste of eggplant, and the color of the eggplant isn’t really visible. Goooood to know. I guess late is better than never, huh?
Sauce and meatballs were care of the freezer, from a previous weekend of cooking.