Eggplant Involtini

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 3 large)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
4 garlic cloves, crushed and divided
12 (1/4-inch-thick) lengthwise slices eggplant (about 2 medium)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 ounce whole-wheat French bread, toasted and torn into pieces
8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 large egg
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, divided
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup) and divided

1. Combine oil and tomatoes in a medium saucepan; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 garlic cloves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups. Cool 10 minutes. Place mixture in a food processor; process until smooth. Set aside.

2. Preheat broiler to high.

3. Sprinkle eggplant slices evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; arrange slices in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Lightly coat eggplant with cooking spray. Broil 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 375°.

5. Place remaining 2 garlic cloves in a mini food processor; pulse until chopped. Add nuts and bread; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Add ricotta, rind, and egg; process until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup basil and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano.

6. Spread 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce over the bottom of an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture onto each eggplant slice; roll up jelly-roll fashion. Place rolls, seam sides down, over sauce in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over rolls. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with remaining basil.


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