My Eggplant Stuffed with Three Cheeses and Sausage

Eggplant Rollatini was wicked good. I used non-fat ricotta cheese in the recipe so I felt like it was pretty healthy. The kids weren't up for eggplant. I stuffed some large pasta shells for them instead. No Thank You Boy wasn't too thrilled with the dinner choice. He just ate the pasta without the stuffed part. I served a wedge of iceberg lettuce with Gorgonzola Buttermilk Dressing. It is one of my childhood favorites. My Middle Child thought the wedge idea was ridiculous. She will not be a fan of that in the future. Dessert was a hit with everyone. A Mississippi Mud Cake from a cookbook that was a present for my last birthday. I ate half of the cake.

Eggplant Rollatini

serves 6

1 large eggplant (about 2 pounds), slice thinly lengthwise
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 box (10 ounce) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
about 3 cups marinara sauce*
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place slices of eggplant on large sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast eggplant for about 15 minutes until slightly brown. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Heat a large saut̩ pan to medium high heat. Add sausage to pan and cook until browned, about 10 Р12 minutes. Place sausage in a large bowl and add spinach, ricotta cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese and 1 cup of the mozzarella.

Place the eggplant slices on a work surface and place a heaping tablespoon on the thin end of each slice and roll up. Place about a 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and place eggplant rollatinis on top. Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes until heated through and the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

*Marinara Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can (28 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes
8 - 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped or 2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in sauce pan over medium high heat.  Add onions and garlic and sauté until transparent, about 8 - 10 minutes. Place the tomatoes in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or crush with your hands. Add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients and simmer sauce for about 20 - 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Iceberg Wedges with Gorgonzola Buttermilk Dressing

1/2 head of iceberg lettuce cut in 4 wedges
3 - 4 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoon mayo
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Combine cheese, garlic and sour cream and mash. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Serve over lettuce wedges.

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