Growing up the only vegetarian in my family, my mum would often modify dishes to allow for my dietary preferences. For example I would have margarita style cannelloni or lasagne made simply with tomato passata and cheese while the rest of the family would have meat based servings. My mum would also mix it up a bit and make crepe or pancake based cannelloni as an alternative to using pasta.
In this recipe I’m tweaking her technique by substituting pasta and crepes and using thinly sliced eggplant for my cannelloni sheets.
Eggplant Cannelloni - a healthy, low fat, full fibre pasta dish without the pasta!
Ingredients 1 eggplant
1 bunch of asparagus
¼ head of red cabbage
125g Ricotta cheese
25g grated grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons linseed meal
Handful of fresh herbs (basil, oregano, sage)
Salt and pepper to taste
Thinly slice the eggplant lengthwise. Set aside while preparing the filling.
Dice the asparagus, red cabbage and herbs.
Heat a non-stick frying pan with a little extra virgin olive oil then add the diced herbs and sauté for a couple of minutes.
Add the asparagus and cabbage and sauté for 10 minutes or until cooked and the vegetables are soft, season with a little salt and pepper. Remove from heat and cool.
Stir fry the vegetables and transfer to a mixing bowl, then add the ricotta, parmesan and linseed meal.
In a bowl add the ricotta, parmesan, linseed meal and cooked asparagus and cabbage. Mix the ingredients until thoroughly combined.
Line the eggplant slices on a flat surface and place a large spoonful of the filling along the edge of each eggplant slice.
Use the eggplant as pasta sheets, place spoonfuls of filling on each eggplant slice then roll into a cannelloni shape.
Roll each eggplant neatly into cannelloni shapes and place into a baking dish seam-side down.
Drizzle a little olive oil into a frying pan and heat then add the fresh herbs. I had some eggplant off-cuts and included these in with the herbs. Sauté for a couple of minutes then add the tomato passata.
Bring the tomato sugo to the boil and cook for 5 minutes.
Tomato Sugo for the eggplant cannelloni.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Cover the eggplant cannelloni with the tomato sugo and place in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes.
Liberally cover the eggplant cannelloni with the tomato sugo.
Remove from the oven, plate up and serve immediately.
Notes You can omit the ricotta and parmesan cheese or substitute with dairy-free cheese or tofu to make this dish suitable for vegans.
These eggplant cannelloni taste just as delicious served cold.