Thursday, June 13, 2013

Getting "stuffy" again!!.....Vegan "Ricotta" Stuffed Shells

It has been quite some time since I have made any sort of stuffed shell.  But, I love variety and was craving some comforting "Americanized" Italian food.  I actually spent a half a year in Italy and can honestly say that I never once saw stuffed shells.  But hey, they still taste damn good.

You can actually buy vegan ricotta at Whole Foods or a health food market, but I came up with a recipe using tofu that tastes even better!  It is similar to the one that I used for the eggplant rollatini.  I just made some minor adjustments.  And, if you have a somewhat well-stocked "plantry", this recipe is fairly inexpensive. 

Vegan"Ricotta"Stuffed Shells

It may seem like a lot of work to make your own mock vegan ricotta, but it is really simple and in my mind it's pretty cool.  Yes, this definitely makes me a dork, but every time I make it, I think "wow, that's amazing how close this tastes like the real ricotta".  "I rock" sad, that is literally what I say out loud. 

Adding fresh basil to the "ricotta"  really adds freshness to the entire dish.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)
10-12 jumbo shells
1/2 block soft tofu
1/2 lemon
1/4 c nutritional yeast
6 leaves fresh basil
s + p
garlic powder
5 sliced button mushrooms
1/2 c baby spinach
1/4 chopped onion
1 garlic clove diced
1/2 tbsp evoo

Preheat oven 400.  In pot, boil shells for 9 minutes.  In a blender, combine tofu, lemon, nutritional yeast, basil and seasonings until smooth and set aside  Saute garlic, mushroom and onions in the evoo for about 5 minutes, and spinach and cook for 1 more minutes.  Add to the "ricotta mixture.  Once the shells are cooked, spoon in ricotta mixture into each shell.  In a baking dish, cover the bottom with tomato sauce, place shells on top, and cover with more sauce and sprinkle with vegan mozzeralla.
Bake for 30 minutes.

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