Here’s another stellar example of an easily veganized Italian classic that doesn’t skip a beat when it comes to taste. I got to thinking that since it is so easy to make a delicious vegan substitute for ricotta cheese, I needed to be making better use of it! Manicotti was an obvious choice.
I perused the web for recipes for a good long time before settling on this one from VegWeb. I originally intended to steam fresh spinach instead of using frozen, as instructed, but it turned out the spinach I had on hand had been in the fridge just a smidge too long. I didn’t have any in the freezer and I wasn’t about to go get some, so I left it out. You spinach-haters out there will be happy to know that it was still perfectly delicious without the green.
Best of all, this is completely do-able on a weekday night. Let me know what you think!
Recipe courtesy of VegWeb
1 lb firm tofu, drained
1 (10 oz) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained (optional)
2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
3/4 tsp oregano
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
3 or 4 tbs olive oil, divided
1 (8 oz) package manicotti noodles
1 (24 oz) jar tomato sauce
Shredded vegan mozzarella, to taste (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Put tofu, spinach, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, yeast flakes and 2 tbs oil in a food processor and pulse until well mixed and smooth
- Pour tomato sauce into a large bowl. Fill jar with 3/4 cup water, put lid back on jar and shake well to further remove any remaining sauce. Add to sauce in bowl, mix well, adding in some olive oil. Ladle 1/2 sauce into a large rectangular baking pan
- Fill large zip lock bag with mixture. Snip about a dime sized hole in bottom corner and pipe mixture into (uncooked) manicotti shells, filling compactly
- Place stuffed manicotti into sauce. Top with remaining sauce and bake, covered 25 min.
- Remove cover and top with vegan mozzarella, if using. Bake another 15 min, until bubbly
- Let stand for a few minutes before serving
Yield: Serves 4