Monday, April 23, 2012

Cannelloni with Tomato Eggplant Sauce

Jud didn't complain when I made this dish.  Of course, I didn't tell him it didn't have meat. He ate 5 of them for lunch and didn't make a comment. I didn't ask if he liked it, but he obviously did. There is enough left to have it for lunch another day this week. I did not use the crock pot.  I pre-cooked the shells and then stuffed them with the filling, poured the sauce over the shells, topped with Parmesan cheese, and baked  at 350 degrees until warmed through.

Ingredients for the Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium eggplant, peeled, cubed, sprinkled with salt, sweated and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups tomato sauce I used marinara sauce
Ingredients for the Filling:
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped baby spinach
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
24 oven-ready canelloni shells

Directions for Sauce:
In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, in batches, and cook until it begins to brown. Return all eggplant to pan. Add garlic and black pepper and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, stir well and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
Directions for Filling:
In a bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, spinach, nutmeg, egg, salt, and pepper. Using your fingers, fill pasta shells with cheese mixture and place filled shells side by side in a (4 to 5 quart) slow cooker stoneware, then on top of each other when bottom layer is complete. Pour sauce over shells. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours, until hot and bubbly.

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