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  By Kris Giovanini  

October 26, 2015

This dish is perfect for family meals and entertaining.


1 package manicotti or other large pasta shells

1 or more jars of your favorite marinara or spaghetti sauce

1 recipe Nut Ricotta (below)

3 cups chopped baby spinach

½ lb. meatless crumbles or vegan sausage (optional)

1 cup Daiya Mozzarella Shreds (or other vegan mozzarella, shredded)

Nut Ricotta

1 heaping cup cashews (soaked overnight then drained and rinsed )

⅞ of a cup of water

¼ cup chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried

2 T nutritional yeast

2 T extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 or 2 lemons (about 3 T)

½ tsp. salt

1 package extra firm tofu, well drained


Prepare the Nut Ricotta: Put the cashews and water in a blender and process on high speed for several minutes or until the mixture is very smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl then mix in all of the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the tofu. Once you have thoroughly drained it, use your hands and crumble the tofu into very small pieces into the cashew mixture. Stir to blend. The cheese will be grainy. Set aside

Cook the pasta shells according to package directions. Drain the shells and let them cool.

While the shells are cooling, open a jar of your favorite prepared marinara/spaghetti sauce. Stir the sauce together with ½ cup water and ½ teaspoon garlic powder.

Spread a layer of this sauce on the bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold all the shells.

Stir 3 cups chopped baby spinach into the prepared nut ricotta. You can also add ½ pound meatless crumbles if desired.

Fill each shell with the ricotta mixture and place in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the shells.

Sprinkle 1 cup shredded Daiya or other plant mozzarella on top of the sauce.

Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

Remove the foil and cook another 5 to 10 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted and the sauce is bubbling.

Let the shells sit about 5 minutes before serving.

We use Muir Glen Organic spaghetti sauce for this recipe, or make our own using the marinara sauce recipe on VEW.

Remember that if you have a high speed blender you can forgo soaking the nuts before using them to make your ricotta.



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