Eggplant Manicotti: Vegetarian Delight!



Fresh Ingredients Make Great Meals


Eggplant. Really, what a terrible name you were saddled with. And what an identity crisis! To have an alter ego…the aubergine – which sounds exotic, foreign and sophisticated!! It’s a lot to contend with. The good thing is that whatever you call it – it’s delicious! And it’s in season!

A Meatless Monday Option

Have you heard of the Meatless Monday movement? There’s a lot of sources and even cookbooks to check out – all in the name of being more health and environmentally conscious about our choices. This dish is a great substitute for a meat meal. The following recipe is from Bon Appetit Magazine (September 2001) – Enjoy! PS: the sauce of this dish will knock your socks off and will bring people into the kitchen to see what deliciousness you’re up to.



3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

¾ cup chopped celery

1 large carrot, peeled, chopped

¼ cup chopped garlic

½ cup dry red wine

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree

1 cup chicken stock or canned chicken broth

1 cup chopped fresh basil


1 pound fresh or whole-milk ricotta cheese

1 cup grated Asiago cheese

¾ cup chopped fresh parsley OR baby spinach (both work really well)

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 large egg

2 medium eggplants, unpeeled, each cut lengthwise into eight 1/3-inch thick slices

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. FOR SAUCE: Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic; sauté until tender, about 8 minutes.

Saute The Base


Use a mini chopper for the onion, garlic, carrot and celery!


  1. Add wine and cook 3  minutes.

Add Wine to the Base


  1. Add crushed tomatoes, stock and basil; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper. Cool.

Delicious Sauce for Eggplant Manicotti


4. FOR MANICOTTI: Place ricotta cheese in medium bowl. Stir in Asiago cheese, spinach or parsley, nutmeg and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in egg.

Manicotti Mix


5. Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray 2 large baking sheets. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with  olive oil; arrange on prepared sheets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until eggplant slices are tender, about 13 minutes. Cool on sheets.



Create an “edge” by slicing a razor thin layer of eggplant off one end – it will be easier to make pieces that fold nicely without the outer edge of the eggplant

Eggplant Slices

6. Place 1 eggplant slice on work surface. Place 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture near narrower end of  eggplant slice. Roll up, enclosing filing. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices and filing.


7. Spread half of sauce over  bottom of 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange eggplant manicotti in single layer atop sauce. Spoon remaining sauce over. (Manicotti can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate).


8. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake manicotti until heated through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Eggplant Manicotti with Ricotta, Asiago and Parsley Filling

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