When life hands you eggplant, make lasagna rolls!
We have gotten lots of eggplant from our CSA this summer. I don’t hate eggplant, but it’s not exactly my favorite food, either. I have made quite a few pasta dishes, casseroles, and quesadillas, but this week I wanted something different. I have made spinach lasagna rolls before, so I thought it would be fun to try to make some lasagna rolls with roasted eggplant and zucchini. I also had some pumpkin puree in my refrigerator that I wanted to use, so I decided to go with a pumpkin bechamel for the sauce. It turned out to be pretty delicious, if I may say so myself!
These would be delicious with a traditional tomato or alfredo sauce, if you don’t have pumpkin on hand or if you’re not a big pumpkin fan. I really like the flavor of pumpkin with savory and salty ingredients, like cheese. Next time, I think I may actually add a bit more pumpkin to the sauce, too!
Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini Lasagna Rolls with Pumpkin Bechamel
- 6-8 whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 2 cups eggplant, peeled and cubed
- 2 cups zucchini, cubed
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated and divided
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup lowfat cottage cheese
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour (Wondra)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions, drain and transfer to a damp dish towel.
Spread the cubed eggplant and zucchini on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Use your fingers to quickly mix the ingredients on the pan to evenly coat with the oil. Roast in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, turning once.
Meanwhile, prepare two shallow dishes with the ingredients for breading the lasagna rolls. In the first dish, whisk the eggs with 1 tablespoon of milk. In the second dish, combine 1/4 cup of the parmigiano reggiano cheese and the panko bread crumbs.
Prepare another baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Reduce the oven temperature to 425°F.
In a mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup of parmigiano reggiano cheese, mozzarella cheese, and cottage cheese. Once the eggplant and zucchini mixture has cooled, add to the cheese mixture, stirring to combine. Cut the lasagna noodles in half. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto the end of each noodle half. Roll the noodle around the mixture and place seam down.
Dip each lasagna roll first in the egg mixture and then in the panko breadcrumbs and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the rolls are golden and crispy.
While the lasagna rolls bake in the oven, prepare the bechamel sauce. Start by heating the two tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook the flour over the heat for a few minutes. Gradually whisk in 1 cup of milk. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking constantly. Once the sauce has reached a boil, reduce the heat to low and whisk in the pumpkin puree. Season with kosher salt and a pinch of nutmeg.
Serve the lasagna rolls immediately with the pumpkin bechamel sauce on the side for dipping.