I swear, no one will know this is vegan. Ok, that was a big statement, let me start over. I’m really pretty sure that this one will win over your pickiest eaters. This isn’t fancy food here… we all loved jumbo shells in the 90′s and I’m bringing them back today with the best quotation marked “ricotta” that I’ve made yet.
The trick is to combine cashew cream with tofu. I’ve made a lot of vegan lasagnas by crumbling tofu with herbs – which looks very ricotta-esque, but still tastes decidedly tofu. The cashew cream offers a bigger better flavor and the tofu is there for texture. I also snuck some kale in for good measure.
And (now) speaking of fancy food – this post was inspired by the selection of ingredients that came in my Hatchery Box. Hatchery is a monthly subscription of tasty artisan-made treats that come right to your door. Much the same way I love my farm delivery for produce - I just love this for the surprise of it all. Surprise ingredients are what get me out of cooking ruts. If you’re not one for surprises, don’t worry they send recipe cards to go along with each ingredient as well.
Sauce, bake & devour…
- 1.5 cups cashews, soak overnight & drain
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons ume vinegar (or sub more lemon + salt)
- 1/4 cup water (just enough to get the blade going)
- salt, pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup crumbled firm tofu
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup finely chopped raw kale (or spinach)
- handful of chopped chives and/or other fresh herbs
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 16 jumbo shells
- a few cups of marinara sauce
- drizzle of olive oil
- (very optional) - top with grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a blender or food processor, puree together the cashews, garlic, vinegar, and lemon juice. Add only enough water to help the blade along. Taste and add salt & pepper to your liking.
- Scoop cashew cream into a medium bowl and add the crumbled tofu, oregano, red pepper flakes, kale, chives, and another few pinches of salt & pepper. Stir & taste.
- Cook your shells in salty water until al dente.
- Prepare a baking dish with a good slathering of marinara at the bottom.
- Scoop a few tablespoons of filling into each shell, place them into the baking dish. Top each with a generous spoonful of marinara and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes.
Pictured is a half recipe (for 2 of us). I stored 1/2 the ricotta mixture for the two of us for another night.
You can add the chopped kale raw or slightly cooked (heat it in a pan with a drop of oil until it wilts). It'll cook in the oven either way, the only benefit to the extra step of cooking it is that you can pack more in here if it's a bit wilted.
One night we added mushrooms - yum.
This post is sponsored by Hatchery. All opinions are our own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!