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Involtini is a classic

In preparing eggplant and zucchini for roasting, a key step is to draw out moisture from the vegetables by sprinkling them with salt. This process not only helps to remove any bitterness but also allows the vegetables to roast more evenly. 

I’ve been making my ricotta for years. It’s the simplest way to make cheese. It only requires a few ingredients and the result is far beyond any store-bought brand. It’s fun to experiment with local milk and cream. As you can imagine, the ingredients drastically impact the outcome. 

I have to say though, the lemon in the filling is my favorite thing about this recipe. It makes the dish light and the flavor is unexpected. 

Follow these links to my Basic Tomato Sauce, Basil Pesto, and Homemade Ricotta.  

tomato sauce
I hope you love this recipe!

Step by Step Instructions

Involtini Hero

Zucchini Eggplant Involtini

© Chef Laura Bonicelli
The Italian word "Involtini" translates to "rolls." It's fun to bake these in individual ramekins and serve them as a first course. The brightness of the lemon in the filling sets this dish apart
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Dish - Vegetarian, MM-Blue
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 304 kcal


  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 medium zucchini


  • canola or olive oil cooking spray


  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta homemade whole-milk
  • 1 grated zest and juice of lemon
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt


  • 2 cups homemade Basic Sauce or favorite marinara


  • pesto for topping
  • grated Parmesan cheese


  • Trim the stem end of the eggplant and zucchini. Cut both lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices using a mandoline. Sprinkle both with Kosher salt and set aside in a colander for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spray the parchment with cooking spray and place the eggplant and zucchini slices in a single layer on separate pans. Spray the slices with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip the slices over and bake an additional 8 minutes until soft and cooked through. Set the pans aside to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 425 F.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the Parmesan, ricotta, lemon zest, juice, thyme leaves, and Kosher salt. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and add enough basic sauce to cover the bottom.
  • On a work surface, lay down one slice of eggplant, top it with a slice of zucchini. Place a generous spoonful of the ricotta mixture at one end and roll the slices around the filling. Place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with other rolls.
  • Surround and top the rolls with remaining sauce. Top each roll with a dollop of pesto.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until rolls are browning and sauce is bubbling. Cool for 5 minutes, garnish with Parmesan and serve.


I love serving these with fresh linguini or polenta.


Calories: 304kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 20gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 667mgPotassium: 534mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 754IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 432mgIron: 1mg
Keyword ricotta, thyme
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