Recipe:

'Ricotta' & Spinach Pasta Shells Baked in Tomato Sauce

'Ricotta' & Spinach Pasta Shells Baked in Tomato Sauce recipe
Crowd pleaser

A rich, decadent, moreish dish that gets Nonna's stamp of approval — so perfectly flavoured she won't even notice it's entirely plant-based and packed with protein!

Preparation time Prep: 30 mins
cook time cook: 40 mins
serves:
4
Skill level Easy Peasy

You will need:

Pasta shells
  • 25 x jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or sub water)
  • ½ onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 400g firm tofu
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup vegan cheese or cream cheese (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
Pasta sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or sub water)
  • ½ onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 x 400g can tomatoes, crushed or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
To top
  • Additional vegan cheese or cream cheese
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Herbs e.g. basil, sage

Directions:

  • 1Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • 2Cook the pasta according to its packet instructions, making sure the shells are only al dente.
  • 3To prepare the shell filling, heat the oil in a large fry pan over high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and spinach and sauté for 2 minutes or until the spinach is wilted.
  • 4Add the spinach mixture to a food processor with the tofu, nutritional yeast, vegan cheese (if using), salt and pepper. Process until it turns into a chunky paste. Set aside.
  • 5To make the pasta sauce, heat the oil in a large fry pan over high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minutes or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, oregano and thyme. Cook for 1 minute until all the ingredients are combined.
  • 6Pour half of the tomato sauce into a large casserole dish.
  • 7Carefully fill each pasta shell with the tofu spinach mixture. Place the shells in the casserole dish on the tomato sauce. Cover the pasta shells with the remaining sauce. If desired, crumble some vegan cheese, cherry tomatoes and herbs on top.
  • 8Lightly cover the pasta shells and bake for 20-30 minutes or until bubbling. Serve immediately.
Did you enjoy this recipe?
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