Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
Here is a good example of choosing the right pasta as a filling. Strips of eggplant become the cylindrical container for neatly packaged angel hair pasta. Involtini makes a great presentation on a buffet table, and can be prepared a day in advance.
3 1/2 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
One 9-inch-long eggplant, washed and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 pound prosciutto, diced
8 ounces (4 nests) Angel Hair Pasta
1/4 pound caciocavallo cheese, diced
1/2 cup diced dried tomatoes in Extra Virgin Olive oil
1/3 cup diced pitted oil-cured black olives
Fine sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Lightly brush a 9 x 12-inch baking dish with olive oil and set aside.
Brush two baking sheets with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Lay the eggplant slices in single layers on the sheets. Bake until soft enough to roll up, 10 to 12 minutes. Do not let the slices brown or they will be too dry to roll.
Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, then add the onion and prosciutto and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft and the prosciutto begins to brown. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
Cook the angel hair according to the package directions. Drain and add it to the onion mixture, tossing well. Mix in the cheese, tomatoes, and olives and season with salt and pepper.
Divide the angel hair mixture evenly among the eggplant slices, spreading the mixture the length of the slices. Roll each slice up like a jellyroll and place seam side down in the prepared 9 x 12-inch baking dish. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake until the bundles are hot, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.
Note: Caciocavallo is a cow's milk cheese with a stringy consistency. If unavailable, substitute provolone - either sharp or mild.