September 15, 2012

Vegan Manicotti

My husband noticed some very large pasta shells and mentioned he'd like to try them.  I picked them up and made a homemade manicotti with them.  It was pretty easy and really didn't take much work at all.  It was a great, easy meal during the week.

I made a vegan ricotta with some soaked cashews, about 2 cups, blended until smooth with 1/2 cup organic soy yogurt, a little filter water, probably only a quarter cup, and a dash of sea salt.  I covered the mixture and set it in a cool dark corner of the kitchen for about 48 hours.  This ferments the cashews a bit and produces a cheezy flavor.  I chopped up some fresh red bell pepper, a couple cloves of garlic, fresh Italian parsley, and fresh basil and combined them with the cheese mixture.

I poured a little of my homemade marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish and stuffed the shells.

I cooked the pasta shells according to the directions, about 9-11 minutes, until they were al dente.  Then I stopped the cooking by running cold water over them.  I let them cool so I could handle, then stuffed a couple tablespoons of the vegan ricotta I made.

I topped the shells with a little more marinara and sprinkled a little Daiya Mozzarella cheese on top.  Baked at 375ยบ for about 20 minutes just to warm it thoroughly and melt the Daiya cheese a little.

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