Grilling the eggplant for this simple, hearty dish lends both flavor and texture. Make sure the eggplant slices are completely tender before they come off the grill; they won’t soften more in the oven. Slideshow: More Eggplant Recipes
Light a grill or heat a grill pan and lightly oil the grate. Brush the eggplant slices generously with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta with 1 cup of the mozzarella, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, the eggs, parsley, 3 tablespoons of basil and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Fold the ricotta mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with olive oil. Spoon 1 cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the dish. On a work surface, place 1 slice of grilled eggplant with a short side facing you. Spread 2 1/2 tablespoons of the ricotta filling over the eggplant. Roll up the slice and place it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining eggplant and filling. Spoon the remaining 1 cup of marinara over the eggplant rolls and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup of mozzarella.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is beginning to melt. Remove the foil and bake for 12 to 15 minutes longer, until the cheese is lightly browned. Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Garnish with the remaining Parmesan, sprinkle with minced basil and serve.
The rollatini can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated overnight. Let come to room temperature before baking.
Used Japanese eggplant for smaller sized portions and served as an appetizer for a cocktail party to rave reviews. And, it is so convenient to prepare the day before and bake just before serving.