recipes by Michele Forgione
• 6 slices of eggplant vertically cut, 1/2cm thick
• 2 cups of fior di latte cheese
• 2 red peppers
• 1 tbsp of butter
• 3 tbsp of grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
• 200ml of passata
• 2 basil leaves
• olive oil for drizzling
• salt and black pepper to taste
• 3 ½ cups of 00 flour
• 1 pinch of salt
• 1 egg yolk
• 3 tbsp of olive oil
- hot water, as needed
Arrange the eggplant slices in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Press down with a weight and let sit for an hour. Cut the fior di latte into strips and drain in a sieve. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Roast the peppers for 30 minutes, turning them over after 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce the temperature to 350°F.
When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel and deseed them. Cut into strips and allow to drain on paper towels. Meanwhile, make the pasta dough. Pile the flour on a work surface and create a well in the centre. Add the salt and egg yolk. Blend in a little flour at a time as you work in the oil and knead the mixture, gradually adding a tablespoon of hot water at a time until the dough forms a ball. Knead for 2 to 4 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic, then divide in half.
On a floured surface, roll out two circles measuring 45cm across and about 4mm thick. Cut the pasta into a dozen 8cm to 10cm squares and cook in a large pan of salted boiling water until al dente. Plunge into cold water, drain and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Rinse and dry the eggplant slices thoroughly. Drizzle some oil on a shallow baking dish and arrange the eggplant. Drizzle with more oil and bake until browned on both sides. Remove from the oven but leave the oven on.
Butter a baking dish that will hold the 12 cannelloni snugly. Divide the eggplant, peppers, cheese and basil among the 12 pasta squares and season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan or Pecorino, roll up into tubes and arrange them in the baking dish. Cover with the passata and knobs of butter. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.