Both the marinara and tofu ricotta made from scratch and so delicious that you’d never know it wasn’t real cheese (ok, maybe 98 out of 100 wouldn’t 😋). Lots of basil, more garlic, and a ton of fans of this deliciously filling meal!!!
(Makes 10-12 rolls; 3 rolls per serving)
- 2 large eggplant (yields roughly 15 slices)
- 20oz. firm or extra firm tofu, patted dry (do not press)
- 3 cloves garlic (as if, go for 5 or 6), minced
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1/2 tablespoon white miso paste (optional but highly recommended - adds the umami-ness of cheese)
- 1–2 teaspoons dried basil, oregano, parsley or Italian seasoning
- Salt, to taste (3/4tbsp is a good start and add incrementally thereafter)
- Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 6 vine tomatoes
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 large shallot, sliced
- 2 stems of basil, intact with leaves
- 3-4tbsp olive oil
1. Heat large stainless steel skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add sliced garlic and shallot. Stir often to keep from browning.
2. After 1-2 minutes, garlic and shallot should be softened. Turn up to medium-high and add tomatoes. Stir to coat tomatoes and cover. Leave untouched except to stir every 10-15 minutes.
3. After 25-30 minutes, press tomatoes with potato masher or back of large spoon to help express juices from the tomatoes. Leave uncovered from here on out.
4. Keep simmering until tomato skins are very soft and easy to tear with spoon.
5. Pour entire skillet into blender and blend for 5 seconds. You want it roughly blended but not completely puréed. You’ll notice any remnants of olive oil is completely emulsified with tomato sauce due to blending, too!
6. Sauce back into skillet and place over medium heat to maintain simmer. Leave uncovered and allow sauce to thicken to desired consistency
1. Drain any excess liquid out from the tofu (but do not press).
2. Break the tofu up into small pieces with your hands (above size of large marble) and add it to a food processor.
3. Add all of the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape the sides of the food processor as needed.
4. Taste. Add any additional seasoning as needed.
5. If too dry, add tbsp additional lemon juice or tbsp water and mix until to your desired consistency.
6. Add chopped, fresh basil and carefully mix to combine.
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Using a mandolin, your desired slice thickness should be around 1/8-1/16 of an inch. Prepare 15-20 slices to safeguard any breakages later.
3. Lay on parchment paper on baking tray (as many trays as needed to arrange flat and in one layer on each) and salt generously. Leave for 10 minutes and blot moisture with paper towel. Remove any excess salt.
4. Place in oven for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
(Once the tofu ricotta and marinara are ready and the eggplant slices are cooled a bit)
1. Spoon enough sauce into baking dish to form a thin layer covering entire bottom.
2. Place a heaping spoonful (2-3tbsp, roughly) of tofu ricotta onto the center of a slice of eggplant. Starting at skinnier end, roll over tofu mix and up to other end, tight enough to not have air or gaps inside roll but not too tight to squeeze mix out of roll.
3. Place in baking dish along one edge.
4. Repeat for remaining slices and arrange throughout baking dish, eliminating all gaps (see photo).
5. Cover all rolls with remaining sauce.
6. Cover baking dish and place in oven for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake additional 5 minutes. Broil additional 5 minutes.
7. Remove from oven let stand for 5 minutes to allow sauce and mix to solidify slightly.
8. Using serving spoon or other utensil, carefully remove rolls from baking dish and plate, being careful not to cut into or allow any ricotta mix to fall out of rolls. Place any extra sauce on top of rolls.