NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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March 5, 2014

Eggplant rolls a lighter take on a classic

(Continued)

While the cubes are baking, prepare the eggplant. Leaving the skin on, slice it top-to-bottom into 1/4-inch-thick slices, discarding the end pieces that are mostly skin.

Spray the baking sheet you used for the bread, as well as a second large baking sheet with the olive oil spray. Sprinkle the eggplant slices very lightly with salt on both sides, and arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheets. Spray them lightly with additional olive oil spray. Bake just until barely golden, 16 to 20 minutes, switching the sheet pan positions in the oven after 8 minutes.

Add the red pepper, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano and garlic to the bread cubes, and toss well. Pour half of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a shallow baking pan. Set aside.

Arrange the eggplant slices on a kitchen surface, overlapping a few if they are small to make a wider rectangle (you will need 12 portions total), and divide the filling among the portions, mounding it in the center of each slice. Roll up the slices to enclose the filling. Place the rolls, seam side down, in the baking dish. Spoon the remaining sauce over the rolls, and bake on the oven’s lower shelf until the sauce is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes.

Divide the rolls between 6 serving plates, making sure that each portion has ample sauce. Top with fresh basil.

Nutrition information per serving: 260 calories; 90 calories from fat (35 percent of total calories); 11 g fat (3 g saturated, 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrate; 7 g fiber; 9 g sugar; 9 g protein; 780 mg sodium.

SPEEDY MARINARA SAUCE

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Makes 21/2 cups

2 large garlic cloves, smashed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Hefty pinch red pepper flakes

28-ounce can low-sodium diced tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)

Kosher salt

In a medium skillet, combine the garlic and the oil. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, turning over the garlic several times, until it is just golden, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and a hefty pinch of salt, bring to a boil, and cook at a brisk simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced to about 21/2 cups.

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