If you love Italian flavours but are trying to embrace a more nutritious way of eating, this vegan aubergine involtini recipe will surprise and delight you.
This traditional dish from the terra Madre is sort of like a lighter stuffed cannelloni, in this case with a really tasty almond-based vegan ricotta.
– 2 thick and long aubergines
– 1 onion, finely diced
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 handful of fresh basil
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– A glug of red wine
– 1 can of chopped tomatoes
– 200g flaked or blanched almonds, soaked
– 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
– Dried garlic powder, optional
– 1/2 tsp salt
– Juice of half a lemon
– 150g spinach, wilted
– Pinch of ground nutmeg
1. To make the almond ricotta, soak your almonds in boiling water for 1-8 hours, then drain and blend with the lemon juice, 1.5 tbsp nutritional yeast, garlic powder and salt. Add water as needed to achieve a ricotta-like texture.
2. Thinly slice your aubergines lengthways, drizzle with oil and place on an oiled baking sheet and into an oven preheated to 180C for 10-12 minutes, or until soft and pliable.
3. Meanwhile, make your sauce by softening the onions, garlic and dried oregano in an oiled pan on medium heat, taking care not to burn the garlic. After two to three minutes add a splash of wine or port and pour in the chopped tomatoes. Add torn basil and allow to simmer until assembly.
4. In a large bowl, mix your wilted spinach with the almond ricotta, along with a dash of nutmeg.
5. Take the aubergine slices out of the oven and place a dollop of filling on the widest part and roll to create your involtini.
6. Spread half the tomato sauce on the base of a baking dish, top with the involtini and pour over more sauce.
7. Pop back into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbling.
8. Take out of the oven and sprinkle liberally with nutritional yeast or grated vegan mozzarella, if you prefer.
Growing up with the name Darina, I was constantly asked if I could cook like my namesake. I am the only person to have contested both Masterchef and the Great Irish Bake Off and am passionate about discovering and creating delicious things – I can sometimes be caught in the act on TV3’s Six O’Clock Show or RTE Today. Working with TheTaste allows me to satisfy this craving and marries my food fascination with my love of writing and ranting. Follow me on my pursuit of deliciousness.