I did some major reorganizing in the shelves and I still find there is just not enough space for everything. No matter how much I try to condense, stack, categorize, etc. I still find myself bring the perfect example of an "organized mess." So my solution would be to just knock out a few walls, add some cabinets, a pantry, new appliances and make the kitchen like the Taj Mahal since it's my favorite room in the house, but somehow unfortunately I don't think our landlord would be too happy if she found out about that.... Well, I guess there is plan B. Obviously praying to the kitchen Gods for my kitchen to grow overnight isn't going to happen (no matter HOW hard I try), so I just tried to make things as neat as possible until there is another avalanche of cereal boxes, tea bags, and pasta onto my head. (I think they are trying to knock some sense into me; not working). It's amazing the things you will find that you just can't throw away but that take up a good hunk of valuable space. Enter, the lasagna noodles.
A few months ago I made Dave a buffalo chicken lasagna...a dish I worked really hard on and could not partake in. (Bummer) I used every noodle but about 5 of them and certainly was not going to throw them out. At this point, Dave had lasagna coming out of his ears he ate so much of it, so I knew using the noodles up on him probably wasn't going to be the best solution. As for me, I LOVE lasagna, but those really weren't enough noodles to do much with and I had been trying to find a decent vegan cheese to sub in my cooking. But, thanks to VeganYumYum, I found the perfect solution! It even helped me use up that eggplant and leftover cashew ricotta I had been meaning to put to good use. Now, I was one happy girl!
I had cut up my eggplant prior to finding the recipe which meant it was done width wise and was not peeled. I don't think it hindered the recipe at all though, so if that happens to be the situation you're in, let me assure you it still comes out great! (Just layer the rounds down the noodle instead, I used about 5/noodle) And if you're like me, it's a good way to use up some of those "extras" you may have in the house (a half of a tomato, a handful of spinach, a couple of mushrooms, you get the idea). ...Unless of course you are on the Atkins diet, where this recipe, and about 99% of my blog will be of no help to you. (My apologies, I already don't eat meat, or most dairy items, I can't completely deprive myself!)
Eggplant and Pine Nut Rolled Lasagna
Serves 4 (easily adapted)
- 8 Lasagna Noodles
- 1 Eggplant
- Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- 2+ Cups Marinara Sauce (your favorite)
- 2 Slices Bread, toasted (or prepared breadcrumbs)
- 1 Cup Pine Nuts
- 1 Tbs Water
- 1/2 tsp White Wine Vinegar, or lemon juice
- 1 tsp Dried Italian Herbs
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp Salt
- Add 1/3 Cup of Sun Dried tomatoes to pine nut spread
- Add 1 Cup of sauteed spinach when filling
- Add fresh baby spinach leaves when filling
- Add 1 Cup of sauteed mushrooms when filling
- Add strips of sauteed summer squash when filling
Boil noodles in salted water until al dente. Drain and lay out the noodles on a cookie sheet, lightly spraying with oil so that they do not stick. Set aside.
Peel eggplant. I find the easiest way to do this is to cut off both ends and use the edge provided to get your vegetable peeler started. I’ve found it difficult to get the peeler to cut the skin otherwise.
Place the eggplant upright on the cutting board. Slice the eggplant in long, thin vertical slices. Then slice each of these in half again, also vertically. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a large non-stick or cast-iron skillet, begin browning the eggplant strips in olive oil, 2-3 Tbs a batch (or more). When strips are very tender and nicely browned on both sides, set aside.
In the hot skillet you cooked the eggplant in, add the pine nuts. Toast the pine nuts over medium-low heat until golden brown, being careful not to burn. Add the pine nuts to the work bowl of a food processor. Grind the nuts as well as you can, then add the remaining ingredients for the pine nut spread. Process until well combined.
Toast the bread and process into breadcrumbs.
Preheat oven to 400º F.
Spread a little pine nut spread onto each noodle. You don’t need a lot, it’s very rich! Add eggplant strips, as well as any other filling.
Roll up each noodle and place in your baking dish(es) seam-side down. Cover generously with sauce.
Top with breadcrumbs and bake for 20-25 minutes. Since everything is already cooked, they just need to heat up and slightly brown. If you’re baking them in individual gratin dishes as shown here, place all the dishes on a baking sheet for easier removal from the oven. Serve immediately!
(She has great step-by-step pictures to reference for this recipe if you need!)