Carmesagna? What in the world is that you ask? Well it’s a hybrid of cannolini, lasagna, and parmesan. This inspiration was one of those wacky ideas I had one day while in the kitchen. I wanted to use the large eggplant I had in the refrigerator. I remembered the frozen grilled eggplant parmesagna dinner that Trader Joe’s had and wanted to recreate that. BUT then I remembered I had ricotta in the fridge so I thought why not eggplant lasagna. BUT then I remembered I had spinach, mushrooms, and bell peppers, so I though why not make stuffed vegetable eggplant roll-ups similiar to cannolini. Then I figured why not make a hybrid of all three dishes and guess what? IT WAS DEE-LISH-US. The mister didn’t even miss the meat. Nomnomnom.
The photo below doesn’t do justice of how the dish looked. I wanted to take a picture of the entire dish, but as I was getting ready to take the camera out, the hubs dug in since he was starving. Whoops!
Serves 2 – 3
One eggplant roll-up. This picture so does not do it justice. The casserole dish looked so much better.
1 large eggplant, thinly sliced length wise
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz Ricotta Cheese
1/4 c parmesan cheese
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 pint of mushrooms, diced
1 cup spinach
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, diced
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp olive oil
Marinara sauce, store bought or homemade
Cheddar jack mix blend cheese, shredded
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Also, preheat the grill (George Foreman, oventop grill pan, or actual grill, whichever you choose).
Heat marinara over stove.
Filling (Note: we’ll start with this to allow the sauteed veggies to cool)
Heat oil in sautepan. Sautee onion until translucent. Add garlic. When garlic is fragrant, add bell peppers and mushrooms. Sautee until crisp. Then add spinach. Cook until wilted. Place in bowl and allow to cool. When cool, add ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Incorporate all ingredients together.
Oil eggplant slices and season with salt and pepper. Place eggplant on grill and cook until “al dente,” about 5 -6 minutes. Take off the grill and onto a plate and let cool.
Assembly of the dish
Take a casserole pan and grease with oil. Then add the marinara to the bottom of the casserole pan (similar to how you would when making lasagna).
Lay the eggplants flat. Place a 1/2 tablespoon to a tablespoon of filling at the fattest end of the eggplant. Roll up the eggplant and place seam side down into the casserole pan. Repeat this until casserole dish is full.
Pour more marinara over eggplant. Sprinkle shredded cheeses over the dish. Then cover the casserole with foil. Place into the oven or 35 minutes. Uncover the casserole dish and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes to allow all the ingredients of the dish to “stick” together. Serve with garlic bread or salad or both and enjoy. Then while eating maybe do the happy dance or sing “yummy yummy yummy I got love in my tummy.” 🙂