Not just to feed your eyes, but this Aubergine Involtini is intensely delicious! I’ve been revisiting this recipe throughout these lockdown months and finally, here is the recipe of Aubergine Involtini that perfectly lives up to my family’s expectations. This is my version of Aubergine Involtini that we love to make atleast twice in a month. It is vegetarian and loaded with tomatoes and cottage cheese, apart from the star ingredient: aubergines!
What is an Involtini?
Involtini is an Italian dish. The word Involtini is the plural of the word Involtino. In Italian, “Involtini” refers to bite-sized food, generally like small parcels with filling: consisting of some sort of outer layer wrapped around a filling. The wrapper of the involtini can be made out of vegetables (like zucchini and aubergines), seafood or with meat. The fillings can be of Ricotta, cottage cheese, vegetables, etc. There are many variations of the wrapper and the stuffing, making each Involtini unique in itself. The Marinara Sauce in which the Involtini sits, makes the whole package a real deal!
This amazing Aubergine Involtini is completely vegetarian and making a vegan version of this is also quite easy! However, for bacon-lovers, the stuffing might sound even more interesting with crispy bites of fried bacon in the soft Ricotta/cottage cheese stuffing. My recipe of Aubergine Involtini is not only lip-smacking, but very easy, too! You can easily make the recipe Vegan. Read on…
How to make this recipe Vegan: The Vegan Version of my Aubergine Involtini
For making the filling vegan, instead of regular cottage cheese (or Ricotta cheese), we can use homemade “Vegan Ricotta.” For that, blitz one block of tofu with half a cup of almond flour, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp nutritional yeast and some salt. And there you are. Vegan Ricotta is ready!
- Substitute cheese with Vegan Ricotta.
- In place of honey, use Maple syrup or Date syrup.
- Substitute butter with olive oil.
- Substitute cream cheese with coconut cream.
However, the recipe of Aubergine Involtini given below is not Vegan. We love this dish with a hint of honey and with the creaminess of cottage cheese!
Ingredients for the Marinara Sauce:
- 4 Tomatoes (chopped into small pieces)
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 tsp Oil
- 1 tsp Minced garlic
- 4 tbsp Finely chopped onions
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Honey
- ½ cup White wine (optional)
- ½ tsp Freshly crushed pepper
- 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
- 2 tbsp Tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp each Finely cubed yellow and green zucchini
- 1 tsp Finely chopped parsley
- 1.5 tsp Finely chopped Italian basil
Ingredients for the Involtini:
- 1 Large eggplant
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- According to taste Salt
- Around 100 g Freshly made cottage cheese (or Ricotta)
- 3 tbsp Cream cheese
- ½ tsp Freshly crushed black pepper
- 3 tsp Chopped and fried walnuts
- 1 tsp Honey
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 Cheese slices (roughly torn)
- ½ tsp Parsley (dried)
- Around 10 leaves Fresh Italian basil leaves For garnish
Method for the Marinara Sauce:
- Heat butter and oil in a pan.
- Add minced garlic and sauté briefly. Then add the onions along with ½ tsp salt.
- When the onions become soft, then add the white wine and freshly crushed black pepper.
- Add the tomatoes, Tabasco sauce and tomato ketchup. Sauté for 5 min.
- Add the yellow and green zucchini. (Alternately, you can chop around six mushrooms and add to the simmering tomatoes.)
- Season with honey and ½ tsp salt and cook covered, until the tomatoes are quite soft but the zucchini (or mushrooms) are firm, yet cooked.
- Add parsley and basil before switching off the flame.
Method for the Aubergine Involtini:
- The cottage cheese should be strained in a muslin cloth and hung for 1 hour, so that most of the whey drains off.
- For the filling, crush the cottage cheese softly by hand. Add cream cheese, freshly crushed black pepper, ½ tsp salt, walnuts, honey, mustard and parsley. Mix everything together by hand. Set the filling aside.
- Wash and pat-dry the eggplant. Trim the stem of the eggplant. With the help of a Mandoline or a sharp knife, cut the aubergine into ¼ inch thick slices.
- Heat a non-stick pan and lightly drizzle olive oil. Fry the eggplant slices in batches, so that the slices do not overlap each other. Sprinkle little salt over the slices while frying. The slices should be slightly browned and cooked. Do not overcook: otherwise these slices get darker and mushy.
- Place 1 tbsp of the filling on the fat end of each aubergine slice and then roll it up neatly, seam side down. Roll up all the aubergine slices in this way.
- Arrange these rolls (Involtini) snugly into a baking dish. All the aubergine slices should have seam side down.
- Spoon the Marinara sauce generously all over the rolls. Place the roughly torn cheese over it. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for just 15 min.
- Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve it with quinoa or pasta.
Did you enjoy this recipe? Give me a shoutout at @purabinaha on Instagram! We would love to hear from you.