I think eggplants can be really good or really bad. You need to prepare it just right or else it becomes inedible. I have had my fair share of eggplant successes (this lasagna, baba ganoush, ratatouille, moussaka, and garlic bake prove that) but there have been times when I just had to throw everything away because the eggplant went south.
Luckily this recipe is NOT one of those bad recipes even though I thought that’s where it was headed. I thought the eggplant was going to turn to mush but when I pulled it out of the oven it had set nicely. And of course, it tasted really good.
Now, here is your warning that this meal will take a little bit of prep time. It’s not complicated, it just has a few steps. Steps you can’t skip or you will end up with yucky eggplant and no one wants that. I will say this rollatini does well as leftovers so if you want to make this on the weekend and have it for lunches and dinners during the week that would definitely work.
This rollatini is also a super comforting dish when it gets cold out but it won’t sit like a brick in your stomach. Which side note, can we talk about the weather in Chicago this past week? It was over 70 yesterday and tomorrow it’s supposed to drop to like 30 with a chance of snow. Way to gut punch us weather. I’m going to be eating all the soups and casseroles.
Starting with this one!
Butternut Squash Eggplant Rollatini
- 2 medium to large eggplants
- 2 cups butternut squash, cut into cubes
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp basil
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 bunch spinach leaves, rinsed and stems removed
- 1 batch of my cashew ricotta
- Parmesan topping, optional for serving
- Steam the butternut squash cubes until they are soft. Place in a blender with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Puree until smooth and set aside.
- While the squash is steaming, cut the eggplants lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick lasagna-like noodles. Place them on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat and sprinkle with salt. Let them sit for about 15 minutes, then brush off the salt with a paper towel and place back on the baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 300 and bake the eggplant slices for about 15 minutes or until they are soft and pliable.
- While the eggplant is baking, combine half of the butternut squash with the cashew ricotta. Add the tomatoes and the rest of the seasonings to the blender with the other half of the butternut squash puree and blend to combine.
- Remove the eggplant from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes until you can easily handle the slices. Place a thin layer of the tomato sauce on the bottom of an 8 x 13 casserole dish.
- Take one of the eggplant slices and add a few spinach leaves and 2 tablespoons of the ricotta. Roll the eggplant and place in the casserole dish, seam side down. Continue until all the eggplant slices are used. If you have extra ricotta, you can place it in the cracks and crevices between the rolls. Pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the top and cover the dish with foil.
- Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes until the edges are brown and bubbling. Let it cool for a few minutes and then dig in!