Saturday, November 2, 2013

Stuffed Shells Redux

Yes, it's more comfort food - that's why Mother Nature invented fall! (And thick, baggy sweaters.) Anyway, it doesn't get much more reassuring than a big pan of shells stuffed with cashew ricotta and baked under a blanket of red sauce.

Today's version is a new twist on an old theme, with mashed sweet potatoes and fresh arugula adding interesting sweet and sharp notes to the filling. I used jarred sauce because A. I got the idea to make this dish late in the day, and B. I was feeling a bit lazy. It turned out great, but if you'd like to use your favorite homemade version, I'm sure it would make this good thing even better.

Stuffed Shells Redux
~ 1 lb. extra large pasta shells
~ 5 cups marinara sauce, jarred or homemade
~ 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water at least an hour
~ 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
~ 2 tbsp. olive oil
~ Juice of 1 lemon
~ 1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled
~ 2 large sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
~ 2 cups chopped, fresh arugula (or other leafy greens)
~ 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
~ 2 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, oregano, basil, adobo seasoning (with pepper)
~ 1/2 tsp. white pepper
~ 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and coat a large casserole with cooking spray.
~ In a food processor, puree the soaked, drained cashews with the soy milk, olive oil, and lemon juice until smooth.
~ With the food processor running, gradually add the crumbled tofu, sweet potato, arugula, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, garlic, and seasonings. Puree to a smooth paste, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
~ Prepare and drain the shells according to package directions and set aside for a few minutes to cool.
~ Spread about a cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of the greased casserole.
~ Carefully stuff the tofu/cashew mixture into the shells and arrange them in the casserole dish, open side up.
~ Pour the remaining sauce over the shells and sprinkle with the reserved 2 tbsp. of nooch and a little extra oregano.
~ Cover tightly with foil, and bake in the center of the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
~ Remove the foil, raise the heat to 400, and cook another 15 minutes until slightly browned.
~ Allow to cool about 10-15 minutes before serving.


  1. I'm new. So "nooch" I assume is Nutritional yeast?

  2. Yes, indeed - sorry for any confusion!