I know what you’re thinking, “Prosciutto on Budget Bytes? Prosciutto is helluh expensive!” Yeah, it is expensive but I really really wanted it. Luckily, prosciutto is also one of those ingredients that is super flavorful so you don’t need to use very much to get a big flavor bang.
I bought 1/4 pound of prosciutto (thinly sliced) for this recipe which still ended up being about 1/3 of the total recipe cost ($13.68/lb which is still inexpensive for prosciutto). So, if you want to take this recipe in a different direction, you’ll probably cut the cost considerably.
You can do so many things with the filling for these rolls. Stir in spinach, pesto, nuts, olives, or maybe even something sweet like a few chopped dates or raisins. Me? I had to have that salty prosciutto!
I also whipped up my own red sauce to spoon over the rolls. It was quick, only about 10 minutes of prep time but it made about twice as much as needed. I froze the other half and I’m sure I’ll be glad about it some day when I’m craving a bowl of pasta and red sauce. You could just as easily buy a jar of red sauce and pour it on instead.
You’ll want a long, slender eggplant for this recipe. Short eggplants won’t be long enough to “roll” and bulbous eggplants will create awkward shaped slices that will also be difficult to roll.
Eggplant Prosciutto Rolls
Eggplant Prosciutto Rolls
Eggplant prosciutto rolls are a low-carb alternative to lasagna.
- 1 large eggplant (1.25 lb) $1.20
- 1/4 lb prosciutto, thinly sliced $3.42
- 15 oz ricotta $1.99
- 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend $0.57
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend $0.05
- non-stick spray, as needed $0.10
- 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper $0.05
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes $1.43
- 3 oz tomato paste $0.26
- 1 Tbsp oregano $0.15
- 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
- 1/2 tsp garlic, minced $0.06
- salt and pepper, to taste $0.05
Rinse the eggplant well and slice off both ends with a knife. Use a mandoline to cut the eggplant into 1/8-1/4 inch thick slices, lengthwise (I used the 3/16th inch setting). This can be done with a knife if you have good knife skills and a sharp blade. I got about 10 full slices out of my eggplant.
Lay the slices out on a work surface and spray both sides lightly with non-stick spray. Also sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the slices on a countertop grill just until they are limp (about 3 minutes). Be careful not to overcook the slices or else they will turn to mush. It is okay if they are under cooked because they will be baked in the oven later. Just make sure they are limp enough to roll easily.
While the slices are grilling, mix the cheese filling. In a small bowl stir together the ricotta cheese, shredded Italian cheese blend, and Italian seasoning blend.
Begin to make the sauce. In a medium pot combine the crushed tomatoes, half can (or 3 oz.) of tomato paste, brown sugar, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir until combined and heat over medium-low until ready to use. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To assemble the rolls, lay a slice of prosciutto on each grilled eggplant slice. Place a large spoonful of the cheese mixture at the fat end of the eggplant and then roll it up. Place the eggplant prosciutto rolls in a baking dish coated with non-stick spray (8×8 inch dish works best).
Spoon some of the tomato sauce over top of the rolls and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm.
Step By Step Photos
Buy an eggplant that is a relatively uniform diameter from end to end. Try to get one that is 8-10 inches long so that there will be enough length to roll. After washing the eggplant, slice off the top and bottom.
I used a mandoline to slice my eggplant into 3/16th inch (between 1/8 and 1/4 inch) slices. You can do this with a knife if you don’t have a mandoline, just be very very very careful. Place the wide end of the eggplant on the counter and carefully slice down and away from you.
I got about 10 full slices out of my eggplant. Lay the slices out on a clean work surface (I put some parchment down) and spray lightly with non-stick spray to prepare for grilling. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Grill the slices using a counter top grill for about 3 minutes or until limp. If you don’t have a grill, try roasting them uder a hot broiler for a few minutes.
Once all of the slices are grilled, you’re ready to assemble.
While the eggplant are grilling, make the cheese filling. Combine the ricotta, Italian cheese blend, and Italian seasoning blend.
If you’re unfamiliar with prosciutto, it looks like this. It is basically a fatty, dry, cured ham. It’s delicious but very expensive. It is also difficult to slice thin (first hand experience), so sometimes it just ends up in a ball of bits like this. That’s okay for our purpose.
To assemble, lay a piece of prosciutto on top of each piece of grilled eggplant and then spoon a bit of the cheese mixture onto the wide end of the eggplant. Starting at the wide end with the cheese, roll it on up. Leave it sitting seam side down so that it doesn’t unroll.
Continue with the rest until they’re all assembled. Wow, my mouth is watering looking at this pic… so so so good.
Place the rolls in a baking dish coated with non-stick spray. An 8×8 dish would have been better but I only had a 9×13. A smaller dish will help the filling stay in during baking.
If you want to make your own red sauce, this is pretty much all you need… plus a little seasoning.
In a medium pot, combine the whole can of crushed tomatoes (28 oz.) and half of the can of tomato paste (3 oz.) with the brown sugar, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Stir and heat over a medium flame until heated through (about 10 minutes). This can also be done earlier while the eggplant are grilling.
Spoon the sauce over the eggplant rolls in the baking dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven until heated through (about 20 minutes).
The cheese might ooze out a bit during baking but using a smaller dish will help prevent that from happening. When I scooped them out to serve, the oozed cheese stayed in one piece with the roll anyway. I also garnished with a bit of chopped parsley.
Total eggplant success.