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What Is Rollatini?

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  • Written By: Sonal Panse
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2016
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Rollatini can refer to various baked chicken, eggplant, beef, veal, and fish dishes that popularly feature in Italian cuisine of American origin; this dish was brought over to America by Italian immigrants. All sorts of vegetables, fish and meat can actually be used to make rollatini, but the original dish only used an eggplant Parmesan mix; the Italian immigrants were not well-off, and eggplants were cheaper than the other ingredients. The dish, which is also written as rolatini or rolletini, is known as involtini in Italy. It is similar in concept to other Italian dishes such as braciola, chicken piccata and scaloppine.

The ingredients required to make basic rollatini are eggplants, tomato paste, Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, bread crumbs, eggs, mushrooms, basil, pepper, salt and vegetable oil. The eggplants are cut lengthwise into thin slices, and are lightly fried in vegetable oil until they turn brown. While the eggplants are frying, the whipped egg yolks, diced mushrooms and chopped basil are mixed well in a bowl with the Parmesan cheese, the ricotta cheese, bread crumbs, pepper and salt.

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This mixture is spread over the fried eggplant slices after they are done, and the slices are then carefully rolled up; toothpicks may be used to keep the rolls intact. These rolls are placed on a layer of tomato paste in a baking pan and topped with more tomato paste, bread crumbs and cheese. They are then baked at a high temperature for about 20 minutes. The dish is usually served hot and may be sprinkled with lemon juice.

There are many different recipes for making rollatini. The dish can be purely vegetarian, non-vegetarian, or a mixture of both. In the meat dishes, the meat is cut into thin slices to make the rolls and the rest of the process is the much the same. It is possible to use basil pesto sauce or other sauces in place of the tomato sauce, and, in place of basil or alongside it, spinach and parsley can be added to the dish. Many cooks have also successfully made use of ingredients like garlic, milk, ham and lasagna noodles in preparing rollatini.

Due to its easy preparation method and overall tastiness, rollatini has remained a very popular dish in America and Italy. It may not be the healthiest food to eat on an everyday basis though, as it is high in calories.

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