Eggplant Cannelloni {Grain Free Recipe}
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Eggplant Cannelloni {Grain Free Recipe}

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Author: Ann Timm

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 small eggplants or 1 to 2 large*, sliced lengthwise into 1/4" thick slices (discard the 2 outermost slices)
  • 3 Tbsp. butter melted
  • Sea salt
  • 6 oz. Italian sausage casings removed (omit for Vegetarian option)
  • 12 oz. homemade or jarred marinara sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. each: fresh thyme and oregano or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 4 large leaves fresh basil chopped (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
  • 4 oz. whole milk mozzarella cheese grated or chopped into small pieces
  • 6 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 6 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp. heavy cream to taste
  • Italian Parsley for garnish optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Brush both sides of each eggplant slice with melted butter, then sprinkle sea salt evenly over all.
  • Bake in a single layer on 2 parchment-lined pans for 8 to 10 minutes. Turn each slice over and return to oven for another 6 to 8 minutes, or until soft but still able to hold together when lifted from the pan.
  • After removing cooked eggplant from the oven, turn the heat down to 350 degrees.
  • While eggplant slices are baking, brown the sausage over medium high heat. Once browned, turn heat to low and add marinara, thyme, oregano, and basil, stirring until heated through. Add cream, give it all a good stir, and remove from the heat until ready to assemble cannelloni.
  • In a mixing bowl, mix together the mozzarella, ricotta, and 2 Tbsp. of Parmesan.
  • Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Ladle enough creamy marinara sauce into a small casserole dish (or 4 personal size stone bakers) to cover the bottom. (The remainder will be poured over the rolled cannelloni.)
  • To assemble the cannelloni, place a large spoonful of cheese mixture at one end of an eggplant slice, then roll end to end. Place each rolled cannelloni in the casserole dish or baker.
  • Once all eggplant slices are rolled and in the dish, ladle the remaining sauce evenly over the top of all. Sprinkle with remaining 4 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until sauce begins to bubble.
  • Garnish with a sprig of Italian parsley and serve immediately.

Notes

If using larger eggplants, consider slicing, laying out in a single layer and sprinkling with sea salt about a half hour before using them. This will reduce any bitterness.