It was Kip’s first time choosing the recipe for Food Network Friday and in honour of the occasion she designed a fabulous new logo for us too. We’re all professional now! The dish she chose was a good pick too; this rich dish from Emeril which challenged us to replace sausage, cream and at least 3 types of cheese. In my case I also had to do something about the pasta since I couldn’t find large shells to stuff.
The sausage was nice and easy because I’d brought some Gimme Lean sausage back from Philadelphia with me without a plan in mind, but just to see what it tastes like so that if I see recipes calling for it I know what to substitute. I made the filling with the sausage and the aubergine but I just used some homemade parmesan (based heavily on Yellow Rose Recipes). For the ricotta I just used a few tablespoons of Tofutti sour cream to loosen up the filling.
For the pasta I cooked some lasagne sheets until just soft then drained them and then rolled them up around the filling like cannelloni – it’s miles easier than messing with the tubes. I put them in a lasagne dish and then poured sauce over it. For the sauce I basically used the sauce from Veganomicon’s Penne Vodka but without the vodka. Emeril’s sauce was creamy tomatoey with basil so I thought using the almonds instead of the cream would work well and it did. The dish didn’t actually need all the cheese grated on the top, with the rich filling and creamy sauce, but to stay true to Emeril’s intention I grated some Vegusto on the top. It doesn’t exactly melt but it softens up in a tasty way.
I liked this dish a lot the first evening but like many baked dishes the leftovers were even better. I’d buy Gimme Lean if it was available here because I did like the taste and texture but I’m glad I don’t have the option because I’d rather use homemade. Also, I love aubergine but somehow don’t eat it as much as I’d like, and combined with the chilli flakes and creamy sauce it was a very tasty dish indeed.