14 September 2011

Tofu-Filled Shells

I've been thinking about manicotti lately. My mom made it a couple times, it seems.
I remember it being delicious, the tofu so well seasoned and just the perfect texture.
Not many things in life are well seasoned and texture-perfect.

But I found this great recipe and decided to work with it a bit. It didn't take much.

The pesto gives the filling a real exciting flavor.
The kids were worried at first, but when they saw the melted cheese, it was all good.

Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Tofu-Filled Shells {with Pesto}
inspired by Peas and Crayons

15 oz container of FIRM Ota Tofu {or} 15oz ricotta cheese
1 box of large shells
1 bag fresh baby spinach {to your taste, really}
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, grated
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 cup shredded parmesan/romano cheese
4 tbsp of pesto {we had some homemade leftover in the fridge}
mozzarella cheese for topping {to your taste}
season to taste: salt, parsley, oregano, thyme and garlic powder
16 oz Hunts Mushroom Sauce {or your favorite red sauce}

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Gently boil shells {for about 11 minutes or until tender}. Drain & arrange cooked noodles in a glass baking dish with a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom. Dice and sauté onions and garlic together with shredded carrots and 1/2 tsp of olive oil. In a large bowl, mix together the tofu, parmesan/romano cheeses, pesto, and torn spinach together with all your herbs and spices. Then add your sauteed veggies. Stuff the noodles gently and pour a generous pile of sauce on top. Top with grated mozzarella and bake for approximately 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees.