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In the Kitchen: Eggplant Rollatini

The Rhode Show

Eggplant Rollatini by Chef Pietro Scotti of Vieste On Thames

Eggplant Rollatini
Serves 6

Preheat oven to 350

Ingredients

2 cups leeks,diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 Spanish Onion, diced
1 medium red pepper, diced 
2 large eggplant for slicing and dicing (tip: how to have good slices and enough for stuffing )
2 eggs for stuffing 
2 eggs for egg wash mixture
1 cup of flour (set aside 2 tsp of the flour for eggwash)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
6 leaves of Basil 
1/4 cup Parsley (set aside 1 TBS for egg wash)
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 cups mozzarella 
3 cups marinara sauce
3 cups safflower oil for sautéing 

Directions 

First, in a large sauté pan add some oil and sauté over high heat the onions, leeks and peppers for 5-7 minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté for another five minutes. While those vegetables are sautéing in another pan you will sauté the chopped eggplant until soft. This is done separately because the eggplant takes on more oil. 

After everything’s done sautéing mix together and drain using a colander letting the excess oil drip from the vegetables. Set aside to cool off.

Slice the eggplant about 1/8 of an inch thick. Flour both sides of the eggplant then dip into the egg wash that has chopped parsley and two teaspoons of flour mixed in. Fry on both sides for 1 and 1/2 minutes on each side then set aside on a paper towel covered sheet pan.

Add the eggs, basil, parsley, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese to the drained vegetables and stirring with a spoon gently till incorporated. Set aside.

To build the rollatini, spread about two large soup spoonfuls of eggplant stuffing onto the fried eggplant and then roll from the smallest side to the largest side and put on a sheet pan Cover with hot tomato sauce then mozzarella cheese and bake for 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
Serve immediately.

Our Story begins in Viesté, Italy

 Viesté … simply italian restaurant is inspired by the extraordinary charm of the beautiful coastal Town of Viesté, located in the Apulia region of southeast Italy, the family home and heritage of it’s owner, Anthony Lorusso.  Raised in an era where farm to table was a daily creation at home before it became a trend among “foodies”, Anthony found that the greatest joys of life happened around the family table. He grew to love and cook his Mom’s food always stating “it was fresh and simple”.  Now his dream, Vieste … Simply  Italian restaurant offers some of Rhode Island’s finest Italian food accompanied with a careful selection of Italian Wines, Italian and domestic craft beers as well as tasteful cordials to enjoy with your meal.  

The cozy, quaint and friendly interior boasts an open kitchen, with each table placement a joy to dine at, as well as, a seasonal outside seating courtyard and inside bar.  We seek to bring you the authentic taste of Italy with a delightful atmosphere, delicious food and great service.  Vieste welcomes you, your family and friends to our Italian restaurant, where we strive to make our home your home. 

A fine artist in the kitchen, Chef Pietro Scotti has turned out culinary masterpieces at his acclaimed Westport restaurant, Da Pietro’s for over 25 years. In the summer of 2006, he set the Connecticut dining scene abuzz when he opened his funky new restaurant Zest, in the historic Westport Bank and Trust Building, to great praise. The new restaurant and café, served globally influenced cuisine in a relaxed setting. Sadly Zest did not survive the difficult economic challenges of 2009, but Da Pietro’s is still “the place” to be seen for lunch and dinner.

Born in Ischia, a remote fishing island on the Mediterranean, Scotti launched his culinary adventure at age 11, working in both the local fish market and a famed hotel kitchen. As a young apprentice, he accompanied chefs to the markets each day and learned to pick the freshest seasonal bounty. From there, he traveled the seven seas to exotic ports as a seaboard chef, sampling exotic cuisines, flavors and spices.

Even while serving in the Italian army, Pietro found himself working in the kitchens, further sharpened his skills.

But it was not until he left his island home and literally traveled the seven seas on the San Giusto, an Italian oil tanker, that Pietro immersed himself in the culinary riches of the world. Over four years, his visits to markets in Biafra, Yokohama, Singapore, Morrocco, and Istanbul (and too many more to mention) brought him in contact with exotic spices and foods. He smelled and tasted cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and peppers of all colors, and fresh cucumbers and lettuce in the middle of the desert.  Pietro flipped over the variety of new tastes to incorporate into his repertoire.  

In 1974, it was time for Pietro to plant roots. He crossed the Atlantic Ocean to America and landed a chef’s position in Weston, Connecticut, an area where he could hunt and fish “just like home.” For 10 years, Pietro honed his talents and as head chef at the Cobbs Mill Inn, all the while dreaming of opening his own business.

In 1979, he launched his first entrepreneurial foray, as the chef owner of Winfield’s, a successful delicatessen and catering business that attracted a cult following and garnered terrific word of mouth. Still, Pietro harbored dreams of presiding over an elegant restaurant of his own. In 1987, he took a chance, opening Da Pietro’s on a waterside street lined with antique shops in Westport and called it Da Pietro’s. He decorated the restaurant’s cozy, jewel-like dining room with plush banquets and framed Hermés scarves. Pietro’s Italian and southern French fare quickly became the talk of the town—and of reviewers. Pietro has earned a stellar reputation among reviewers, fans and James Beard Foundation honorees for his timeless, classic cuisine in a traditional setting. Zagat gave Da Pietro’s a 27 rating for food, calling it “extraordinary.” And Patricia Brooks of the New York Times granted the restaurant an “excellent” rating.

When he is not working, Pietro enjoys spending time with his wife Janine and two children Tomaso (13) and Lucia (11). The Scottis enjoy entertaining friends at their home on the Saugatuck River in Westport, a community in which they are quite active, serving on a variety of boards and donating their time and resources to many local charities and foundations.

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