Vegan comfort food at its best, this spinach and mushroom vegan rotolo is hearty, satisfying and packed full of flavour.
What is rotolo?
Rotolo is an Italian pasta dish made using rolled up lasagne sheets. The lasagne sheets are filled, rolled and sliced before baking in the oven. Rotolo looks really impressive (in fact Jamie Oliver claims it changed his life) but is a bit fiddly and takes a while to make so it's best not done in a rush. The first time I made this I didn't cook the lasagne sheets for long enough and they snapped when I tried to roll them. They need to be quite well cooked - but not overdone - so keep an eye on them.
You'll need to get your hands dirty when making this dish. Keep a roll of kitchen towel or a cloth nearby to wipe your hands.
Is it worth the effort? Definitely! This spinach and mushroom rotolo is so good and is a great dish to pull out of the bag when you want to impress.
My vegan rotolo is a hearty mixture of dairy free cheese, tomato sauce and a delicious spinach and mushroom mixture. If I'm honest with you I've never been a huge fan of mushrooms. However, now that I'm a committed vegan it seems important to try to eat as many different plants as possible so I'm trying to learn to love the mushroom.
In this spinach and mushroom pasta dish the mushrooms are chopped quite small and are hidden in a rich, tomatoey sauce. The verdict? I loved them!
This dish contains vegan cheese - both in the tomato sauce and grated on top. If you don't like it or can't get hold of any where you live you can leave this out. The rotolo will still taste great without it. Alternatively you could double the amount of cashew cheese sauce in this recipe and pour the rest over the top before baking.
How to make spinach and mushroom vegan rotolo
Firstly, you'll make a spinach and mushroom sauce. Secondly, make a quick sauce with cashew nuts and nutritional yeast - you'll need a decent blender to do this. Next there's a simple tomato sauce mixed with cheese to make. And finally cook the lasagne, fill and roll, and assemble your rotolo.
Allow yourself plenty of time - but don't worry, it's worth the effort.
Spinach and mushroom vegan rotolo
For the cashew sauce
- 125 g cashew nuts soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 115 ml water
For the spinach and mushroom mixture
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 250 g sliced mushrooms
- 150 g baby spinach leaves washed and shredded
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
For the tomato and cheese sauce
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 200 g vegan cheese block cut into cubes
- Olive oil
For the rotolo
- 2-3 tbsp grated vegan cheese
- 250 g dried lasagne sheets vegan
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the onions until soft. Then add the garlic and the chopped mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper.
- Sauté until the mushrooms are softening. Add the shredded spinach and continue to cook for a couple of minutes until it wilts. Add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes and simmer for five minutes.
- Drain the cashews and blend with 115ml water and 1 tbsp nutritional yeast until you have a creamy sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper, then add half to the mushroom mixture in the pan and cook for 1 min. Set aside.
- Heat up 1 tbsp olive oil in a separate pan. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree and stir well. Add the oregano and cook until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cubes of vegan cheese. Stir well, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/gas mark 6.
- Boil a large saucepan of water and prepare a large bowl of iced water. Cook the lasagne sheets until al dente (around 10 minutes), then drain and drop into the iced water.
- Just before the lasagne is cooked spread some of the tomato sauce onto the bottom of a greased baking dish.
- Remove the sheets from the iced water, separate and spread out on kitchen towel. Pay dry then transfer to a chopping board and cut in half, lengthways so you have two long strips.
- Spread some of the mushroom mixture onto the sheets, rolling up from the short end. Cut in half with a sharp knife and place in the baking dish with the cut side facing up.
- Fill the gaps between each roll with the remaining tomato sauce and cashew cheese sauce and sprinkle over the grated cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted.
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NB: this recipe has been adapted from this one by Violife.