I had all the ingredients I needed to make a great eggplant rollatini, except the ricotta. I had no intentions of running to the store just for ricotta, so I improvised and made an even healthier filling for my eggplant rollatini! I processed canellini beans until smooth (along with spinach) to achieve a similar consistency to ricotta, which also acts somewhat as a glue for the filling. I love getting creative and thinking outside the standard tried-and-true recipes…and this twist is a keeper!
The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):
- 1 large eggplant, sliced 1/4 in thick
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 bag of fresh baby spinach
- 1 can (15.5 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp lemon zest, plus 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled, 2 cloves whole and 2 cloves finely chopped
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Half an onion, finely chopped
- Red pepper flakes
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- Low-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 400.
Slice eggplant to 1/4 in thick planks; lay flat on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping half way through. You want the eggplant to be soft enough to easily roll…cooking time may vary, so check on it often. Cool the eggplant until you can handle easily.
Meanwhile, saute spinach in a little olive oil in a large skillet until wilted and season with salt to taste. Transfer to a food processor (along with any liquid or excess oil from the pan) and add drained beans, 2 whole cloves garlic, lemon zest and juice. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and a Tbsp or two of grated parmesan and set aside.
Next, add a little more olive oil in the skillet you used to saute the spinach, add chopped onion and cook over medium-high heat for a few minutes until soft. Add chopped garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes, cook for another minute. Add crushed tomatoes, bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper to taste then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in a little chopped basil off heat.
Spray a casserole with non-stick spray and put a little of the tomato sauce on the bottom (enough to coat the bottom). When the roasted eggplant planks are cool enough to handle, build the rolls. Spoon some the spinach and bean stuffing onto one end of each plank of eggplant and roll up. Arrange the rolls on top of the tomato sauce (seam-side down), top with more sauce and mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake 15 minutes, remove cover and bake another 10 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly. Top with grated parmesan and serve with a salad.