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Ricotta and Spinach Suffed Manicotti

What you need: 

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)

What you do: 

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!

Preparation Time: 
40 min
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
4

SO HOW'D IT GO?

this was really good and very easy!  tasted a lot like the real thing to me.  i use a similar recipe to make veggie lasagne which is also really good.

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This recipe was great. My whole family loved it.  Thank you.

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:o This was excellent! The only thing that I did outside of the original recipe was substitute 1/4 instant potato flakes for the nutritional yeast.

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I made the filling last night and used it to fill stuffed shells rather than manicotti. Very good. The only thing I think I will do differently next time is to press the tofu to make it a little drier. I put it straight into the food processor out of its watery package and it was a little runnier than I think it should have been. Other than that- delicious!

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I just had this for dinner & it sure is a winner! Even my tofu hating husband liked it- he never suspected!!! Now I did change things a little, my tofu was garlic & onion flavor & I still added 2 cloves of garlic, along with oregano, basil, salt, pepper, parsley. I also used a fake parmasean instead of nutritional yeast flakes. Next time I'm going to use this mixture for stuffed shells!

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I think it's very ricotta-ish! I'm making it for the second time at the moment and it smells delish. This is a great recipe to share with non-vegans.

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Does this really taste like ricotta? I plan on trying it out on someone who turns their nose up at tofu. I found garlic & onion flavored tofu & I will probably add sauteed mushrooms, onions & zucchini to the filling.

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question.... I have a very difficult time finding nut yeast, would the filling still taste good without?  Thanks!

I used to have a hard time finding nutritional yeast too until i discovered that most of the coop's and health food stores in my area had it hidden in with the vitamins and nutritional supplements. Maybe try looking there sometime.

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Very tasty! 

This has become a fast favourite, and is the sort of thing you could easily serve to non-vegan friends and compatriots with no fear of them making faces, other than those of delight and joy.  Not too difficult either. 

I've made this about 4 or 5 times, and only just noticed the olive oil that's meant to be mixed into the filling, so I don't think that extra fat is really necessary. 

Oh, and if you make this with cannenoli tubes (smaller and smooth) instead of manicotti (thicker, with ridges), do reduce the bake time, or the end result will be soggy.

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This was delicious!  Instead of using the ricotta recipe above, I made this using the UNBELIEVABLY DELICIOUS  :) ricotta recipe from the cheesy lasagna recipe on this site (http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=8013.0). 

I think next time I may play around with the filling a little bit more, adding mushrooms or maybe Tofurky polish sausage. 

Overall, though, awesome recipe.  The tip about not bothering to cook the manicotti ahead of time was especially appreciated.  Thanks!

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