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The eggplant is an undisputed star of the Mediterranean cuisine. However you might choose to cook it - fried, baked or grilled – it is always delicious. Native to Asia, the eggplant was introduced by the Arabs into Sicily, where it is still intensively cultivated. This is how you can cook this vegetable in an original way, to prepare a crisp, nutricious, surprising dish!
Ingredients (serve 4 people):
2 purple eggplants
200 g (7 oz) of egg noodles
60 g (2.1 oz) of Parma ham cut into thick slices
150 ml (5 oz) of tomato sauce
100 g (3.5 oz) of grated Parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
Cut the eggplants into half a centimeter thick slices. Sprinkle both sides generously with salt and let the slices stand for at least 20 minutes, so that the eggplants can discharge their bitter liquid. Then rinse and dry them carefully before seasoning them with olive oil. Grill the slices over the Teppan-Yaki griddle plate and place them on the cutting board to cool.
Fill a pot with water and put it on the fire. Bring it to a boil, then add the noodles and the salt. Meanwhile roast the ham in a pan, after cutting it into strips as thick as noodles, then sprinkle with white wine. After 3 minutes, add two thirds of the tomato sauce.
Drain the pasta al dente (follow the cooking instructions), then pour it into the sauce.
Sprinkle the eggplants with a pinch of grated Parmesan cheese and arrange a small portion of noodles, topped with tomato sauce, on each slice. Sprinkle once again with cheese and close the rolls with toothpicks.
Arrange the rolls in a baking tray, after lining it with wax paper. Cover each roll with a little tomato sauce and the remaining Parmesan. To finish with, cook your eggplants au gratin in the oven that you will have previously heated to 190 °C (374 °F) for about 5/10 minutes.
A small tip: serve your rolls with salsa verde, a savoury sauce made with parsley, anchovies, onion, olive oil and garlic.