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Friday, December 3, 2010

We Got Vegan Cannelloni, Baby!

Ciao Bellas,

I had been dying for a comforting, rich, baked pasta dish and after my tenth failed vegan mac-and-cheese attempt (I just can't seem to find a good one), I nearly gave up.  Until I remembered one of my favorite pasta dishes: cannelloni!  I rushed to the grocery store and back and in no time at all whipped up a DEEEELISH and SUPER EASY recipe!
It uses tofu 'ricotta' but don't be frightened, it tastes just like the real thing.  If you use jarred or tinned tomato sauce you will save a ton of time, just make sure you check the ingredients to make sure they're vegan.  You can definitely use regular cannelloni noodles, I was just feeling very lazy at the time and couldn't be bothered to pre-cook anything.

Cannelloni with Spinach and 'Ricotta'
1 box oven-ready cannelloni noodles
1 jar tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
6 garlic cloved, chopped
1 package of extra firm tofu
1/4 cup chopped basil or 2 tsp dried
pinch fresh ground nutmeg
juice of 1/2 lemon

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the water and sauce together and spread 1/2 cup of it on the bottom of a 9"x9" casserole dish.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on meadium heat.  Sautee the onion and garlic until tender and translucent.  Add the spinach and cook until warmed through.  Crumble the tofu into the spinach mixture and add the basil, nutmeg and lemon.  Season with S&P.  Put the mixture into a blender and pulse until the mixture looks even but is not a totally green puree.  Or you can use an immersion blender.
Fill each cannelloni noodle with the spinach ricotta mixture until it is at capacity.  Place the filled noodles in even rows in the casserole dish.  Cover with the remaining sauce and any extra filling. 
Bake for 25 min and broil the top until it's bubbly.  Let it sit for a few minutes before serving, it's hot!

Enjoy ;)


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