Rustic charm, lots of garlic and hugely comforting meals are just a few of the reasons why we love Italian food in Croatia and Austria. Our Austrian location, with the Italian Dolomites just down the road, justify us creating as many Italian themed recipes as possible. One of the other reason why we love lots of Italian dishes at MoaAlm is that it brings people together. Our communal dining table is a richer place when its filled with sharing dishes, fresh vibrant flavours and lots of happy hungry people. Dishes like Spinach and Cashew Ricotta Rolls, bring people together after a day hiking in the mountains, sharing a glass of wine and chatting about the days adventure.
This Spinach and cashew ricotta dish was a definite favourite with our guests last season. Cheese ,egg and dairy free its packed with fresh Italian flavours. Hearty and filling without the heaviness of a traditional lasagne.
Serves 4 people hungry people..
For the sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion diced
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp tomato paste
1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
handful fresh basil leaves
For the ricotta:
400 g frozen spinach defrosted
200g cashews soaked overnight
1.5 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 garlic clove
Juice of one lemon
1 tbsp grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
For the rolls:
10 approx. spinach lasagne sheets
Preheat oven to 180ºC/gas mark 6.
Heat olive oil in pan over a low heat and add onion. Cook for ten minutes until soft then add garlic for a few minutes. Increase heat slightly, add the tomato paste and balsamic vinegar, sauté for a few minutes. Add the passata then simmer for about 15 mins or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper then take off heat and blend to creamy consistency with hand blender if possible.
Drain cashews and place all ingredients except the spinach, into a blender. Blend until a thick but smooth consistency. Season to taste then transfer to mixing bowl. Add defrosted spinach and check again for seasoning.
Pour the tomato sauce into casserole dish. Add lasagne sheets to boiling water, taking care they don’t stick together and cook until the lasagne sheets are flexible.
Lay the cooked lasagne sheets on a chopping board and spread a layer of the cashew spinach mix about 1cm thick. Score each sheet lengthwise into four strips. Roll each strip and place into the sauce mix.
Cook for 30 mins in the oven or until sauce begins to bubble. Scatter over fresh basil and serve with green salad.
For the perfect plant based dessert to follow this Italian dish, then check out our recipe for Lemon Panna Cotta......
If you want to join us in Austria for a week of hiking in the Alps and the Dolomites, combined with daily yoga, check out our summer program at MoaAlm Mountain Retreat.