Why This Recipe Works
Eggplant involtini recipes are often just eggplant Parmesan in a more complicated form: fried eggplant, milky cheese filling, and lots of sauce, with a blanket of mozzarella. We wanted a lighter, more summery dish that focused on the eggplant. Baking the eggplant instead of frying it allows us to skip the salting and draining step, since the eggplant’s excess moisture evaporates in the oven, and it means that the eggplant’s flavor and meaty texture are not obscured by oil and breading. Swapping the usual ricotta-heavy filling for one that’s boosted with a generous dose of Pecorino Romano means we can use less filling without sacrificing flavor. Lastly, we make a simple but complementary tomato sauce in a skillet, add the eggplant bundles to it, and finish it under the broiler, which decreases the number of dishes required.