A simple to make, gourmet-tasting, “I can’t believe this is vegan” Italian dish you have to try – especially if you love spicy sauce as much as we do! YUM! Recipe is from Chef Chloe’s cookbook: Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen.
1 pound dried jumbo shells
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup unsweetened plant-based milk (almond, cashew, coconut, etc)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 pack extra firm organic, GMO-free tofu (I always buy GMO-free tofu from whole foods. Look for the non-gmo verified stamp of approval!)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon white miso paste
3 cups fresh basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Grease an oven safe dish with fitted glass lid, set aside.
Cook jumbo shells according to package. Be careful not to overcook as these are going into the oven once stuffed. Drain, set aside.
To make the sauce: Heat oil in a large pan, add the garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and saute until fragrant. Add the can of crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add in plant-based milk and brown sugar. Taste and adjust to your liking, set aside.
To make the ricotta: heat the oil in a pan, once hot add in the onion and saute until soft. Add the sauteed onions to a food processor along with the garlic, tofu, lemon juice, salt, pepper and miso paste- pulse the mixture to incorporate. Don’t over blend, you want it to be thick and resemble real ricotta cheese. Add in the basil and continue to pulse until it’s worked in. This can be made 2 – 3 days in advanced and refrigerated.
Assemble: Stuff the shells with the ricotta filling, don’t over stuff though so that you have enough to fill all the shells. Pour the sauce mixture into your prepared pan. Lay the stuffed shells into the pan and add more sauce over top. Bake, covered, for 15 minutes, remove the lid and continue to cook for another 10. Serve warm.