Vegan Spinach Stuffed Shells by Leslie Durso

I’ve been at my sister’s house today cooking with her for a friend of hers that just had a baby. Her Moms group is so sweet. When someone has a baby, they all cook a meal and deliver it on a different day so the new Mom and family don’t have to worry about it the first few weeks. This new Mom happens to be a vegan so my sister called in the reinforcements… aka me 🙂 I gave her a list of options we could make and she wanted to do these stuffed shells. My carnivore sister hated to admit how much she liked them (she went back for seconds!). I hope you enjoy my recipe as much as we do!

Vegan Stuffed Shells

Serves 4-6

1 lb. box of large pasta shells

1 lb. (1 package) firm tofu, drained

14 oz. fresh spinach, sautéed, cooled, and chopped

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped raw cashews

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/8 cup non dairy, unsweetened milk (I use almond, but whatever you have)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1/8 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper

tomato sauce

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup diced onion

1/4 tsp. sea salt

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 15oz. cans of crushed tomatoes (my favorite brand is Bianco DiNapoli)

2 tbsp. tomato paste

6 fresh basil leaves, chopped

In a medium sauce pot, add the oil, onions and sea salt. Turn the heat to medium and sauté until the onions are glossy and soft around the edges. Add in the garlic, dried oregano and stir to toss. Then add both cans of the crushed tomatoes. Stir and reduce heat to a slow simmer. Add in the tomato paste and stir. Cover while you make the pasta.

Boil the pasta shells in salted water until they are 3/4 done cooking. (they will cook more in the oven) strain and rinse in cold water.

While the pasta is cooking, in a large mixing bowl crumble the tofu up with your hands into a ricotta type texture. Mix in the spinach, garlic, chopped cashews, nutritional yeast, parsley, oil, milk, salt, and pepper.

To assemble, ladle a couple spoonfuls of sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish and spread evenly. Stuff each pasta shell with about 1 tbsp. tofu mixture, placing each one in the dish. Top each one with a dollop of sauce.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes and the sauce is bubbling. Top with some fresh chopped basil and serve warm.