*This version is vegan, but you could easily throw in some ground beef or sausage for a nonvegan version.
Start to finish: About an hour and a half
Yield: 4 servings
1 medium-large eggplant
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups spinach, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 jar pasta sauce (about 2 cups - I like to use roasted garlic, but any flavor will work)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Trim the ends off the eggplant. Peel it and slice it lengthwise into roughly 1/4 inch slices.
- Lay the sliced eggplant on plates, a baking dish, or in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt. Let sit for 20-30 minutes. (This will draw some of the extra moisture out of the eggplant. You could skip this step, but I like the texture better this way.) Rinse the salt off, and then squeeze the eggplant slices to release even more moisture. Don't worry about smashing them -- they're resilient.
- Spray a baking dish or sheet with cooking spray. Place the eggplant slices in a single layer on the sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until the slices are flexible.
- While the eggplant is cooking, saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil or cooking spray, until the onion is soft. Add the broth and spinach and cook uncovered until the spinach has wilted and the broth has cooked away.
- Remove the eggplant from the oven. Spoon a little of the filling mixture onto each slice, and then roll up slices.
- Put enough tomato sauce in a baking dish to cover the bottom. Place rolled eggplant cannelloni, seam-side down, in the dish. Cover the cannelloni with additional sauce. (Feel free to sprinkle with cheese or bread crumbs at this point.)
- Bake the cannelloni for another 30 minutes. Serve with a green salad, crusty bread, and a nice red wine.