Eggplant and cashew cannelloni

This eggplant cannelloni dish will make you forget about pasta altogether. The creamy cashew cheese rolled in eggplant and blanketed with a classic Italian tomato sauce is the ultimate comfort food made for sharing.

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 eggplants

2 tablespoons olive oil

Tomato sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 cans of cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

¼ cup dry red wine

½ cup vegetable stock

1 tablespoon oregano

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

Cashew cheese

1½ cups cashews

Juice of 1 small lemon

Zest of 1 lemon

¾ cup vegan parmesan, grated

Pinch salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

½ cup almond milk

2 tablespoons olive oil

To serve

Fresh basil leaves

½ cup grated vegan parmesan

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.

2. Slice the eggplants lengthways, approximately 1cm thick. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the eggplant slices for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. You will need to do this in a few batches. Set aside.

3. In the same pan, add the oil and diced red onion. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes until the onion starts to go clear. Add the crushed garlic and cook for a further minute before adding the remaining sauce ingredients. Turn heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly and thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. For the cashew cheese, add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are combined and you get a thick, creamy texture. It should be the consistency of smooth hummus. On a board, lay out an eggplant slice flat and add a dollop of cashew cheese to one end of the eggplant. Next, roll the eggplant lengthways over the cashew cheese into a small cannelloni. Do this for all eggplant slices, then transfer to a large baking dish. Pour over the tomato sauce, dollop on any remaining cashew cheese and grate ½ cup parmesan over the top.

5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the cheese is golden and crispy. Sprinkle fresh basil over top to serve.


An edited extract from Rob’s Kitchen by Sophia Cameron (Sophia Cameron, $49.99), drawn from the recipes of Sophia’s late mother, Robyn. Proceeds from the book will help to support women with metastatic breast cancer through the charity Sweet Louise.

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