Baked spaghetti and Aubergine rolls with Grana Padano

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Baked spaghetti and Aubergine rolls with Grana Padano


. Serves: 4/5 people . Preparation time: 30 minutes . Variety: Pasta


Simple and effective, just as I like it! There are so many quick and delicious recipes that can be created with this brilliant combo of tomatoes, aubergines and Grana Padano cheese that the list could be endless.

These spaghetti rolls became an instant Sunday classic in my household as they please everyone, my toddler daughter that is in the middle of eating-only-spaghetti phase to my mum who doesn’t feel like it is Sunday without a baked dish, and believe me, this is much quicker and easier than a lasagne!

Chef’s tips: you can either peel or not the aubergine, the dish won’t change but if you make any trimmings from the smaller slices, try to chop them up, pan fry them and incorporate into the tomato sauce.


400 g of spaghetti
2 large eggplants
A few basil leaves
4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the tomato sauce
700 g of tinned plum tomatoes 
1 sprig of basil
1 garlic clove, chopped
½ onion chopped
½ chilli
4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to. taste 

For the Grana Padano béchamel 
500ml of milk (warm, if possible)
40g of butter
40 g of plain flour
200g of grated Grana Padano
Salt and pepper to taste


Start by preparing the béchamel. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add in the flour. Cook for a couple of minutes while stirring, on a medium heat until the roux (mix of butter and flour) is golden. Then pour in the milk and bring to the boil, while whisking vigorously. Boil for 2 minutes and then remove from the heat. The béchamel should be now ready, creamy and with no lumps. Stir in the grated Grana Padano cheese, until smooth. Season carefully with salt (as the cheese will have already made the béchamel tasty) and a little black pepper. Set aside.

To prepare the tomato sauce, in a sauce pan gently fry in olive oil the garlic, onion, the chilli and a sprig of basil in olive oil. When golden, add the tomatoes and rinse the tin with a little water and add to the pan.
Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
Break the tomatoes while stirring with a wooden spoon.
When cooked, the sauce will be chunky and rich. 

Peel (optionally) and slice the aubergine thinly. Grill the aubergine slices in a griddle pan until charred on both sides. Set aside.

Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water and when ready toss them straight into the sauce, add a splash of pasta water and an extra glug of olive oil. Stir well to coat evenly with the sauce.

Now let the tomato spaghetti cool for about 5 minutes then divide into little bundles and wrap each bundle in a charred aubergine slice making sure the roll is tight. Grease an oven safe dish with a knob of butter and place the spaghetti rolls inside. Cover the mid-section of the rolls with the Grana Padano béchamel and top with more grated cheese.
Bake at 180 degrees for about 5 minutes using the oven’s electric grill. When ready the Grana Padano béchamel should be golden and bubbly.
Leave to cool for a few seconds then garnish with a few leaves of fresh basil before serving.

Recipe by Danilo Cortellini
Danilo Cortellini