Monday, May 23, 2011

Tuesday (5/24): No Noodle Cannelloni

Pin It Now! Yep, you read that noodle cannelloni.  I found this recipe on another blog (Key Lime Kitchen) and I was intrigued.  I'm a fan of eggplant parm, and this seems like a much lighter dish with some extra veggie bang.  Not to mention, it's gluten free!  It will take a bit of time to prep everything and create the dish, so if you have your kids hanging nearby, put'em to work! 

4 Chinese eggplants (or 2-3 regular purple eggplants)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
6 button mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
1/2 cup diced artichoke hearts (I used them from a jar and drained the liquid)
3 Tbsp diced sun-dried tomatoes (from a jar, liquid drained)
8 oz ricotta cheese (I use whole milk ricotta, but use whatever you like)
2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese (plus a little extra for the top)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups tomato sauce (homemade or jarred)
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
(you could also spike this up with some pancetta or bacon)  
Peel the eggplants.  Slice lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick pieces (or a little thinner if you can).  Heat a large nonstick pan (or a griddle or flat top if you have it– I used a large electric fry pan because it’s the largest thing we have) over medium heat.  Spray with a little cooking spray just to be sure the eggplant doesn’t stick.  Cook the eggplant slices for about 4 minutes on each side, until they are slightly golden and have become pliable.  It takes a while to cook all your eggplant slices, which is why the biggest pan you have is best.  Once they are all done cooking, put them aside to cool.
To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan, add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until mushrooms start to get soft, about 5 more minutes.  Add the garlic and saute 1 more minute.  Add the spinach, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes, and saute a couple more minutes to let all the flavors come together.

Remove from heat, stir in ricotta and parmesan, and add salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray, then spread with a layer of the tomato sauce.  Place one piece of cooked eggplant on a clean surface.  Put a couple tablespoons of filling (if you used wider eggplants you will definitely want more filling than that) at one end of the eggplant, then roll it up.  Place the eggplant roll-up seam side down into your baking dish.  Repeat with the rest of your eggplant pieces.

My girls helped me roll, they're not perfection, but we had fun!  :)

Cover the top of your eggplant roll-ups with the remaining sauce, then sprinkle the top with mozzarella and a little extra parmesan.  Place dish in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the sauce is beginning to get bubbly.  Happy cooking!


Click and Cook said...

This was delicious! And my meat loving husband really enjoyed them too! We each had four of the little "cannelloni's" along with a large side salad and we were full! My kids had fun rolling up the eggplant. Will make this again!

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