Ricotta and Spinach Suffed Manicotti
1 pound firm tofu, drained
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 tablespoon garlic powder or 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup nurtritional yeast flakes
3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (8 ounce) package manicotti noodles
1 (24 ounce) tomato sauce (I like Barilla Lasagna and Casserole Sauce)
vegan mozzarella, shredded, optional (I use Soymage)
1. A little trick I learned working in a good Italian restaurant in New Jersey. You do not need to precook the manicotti noodles, just leave the filling a bit wetter than you normally would. The same goes for lasagna noodles. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Put tofu into food processor or bowl. Add spinach, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, yeast flakes, and about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pulse or mix by hand in bowl until well mixed and smooth, scraping sides of bowl. Taste. Adjust seasoning.
3. Fill large zip lock or regular plastic bag with mixture. Snip about a dime sized hole in bottom corner. Pipe mixture into manicotti shells, filling compactly.
4. Pour tomato sauce into a large bowl. Fill jar with about 1/2-3/4 cup water. Put top back on jar and shake well to further remove any remaining sauce. Add to sauce in bowl, mix well adding some olive oil. Ladle 1/2 sauce into a large retangular pan.
5. Put stuffed manicoti into sauce. Top with remaining sauce. Bake, covered 20-25 minutes. Remove cover and top with vegan mozzarella, if using. Bake another 10-15 minutes, until nice and bubbly and a little crunchy. Let cool a bit and enjoy!