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Perhaps it is a subconscious result of all the Sopranos being watched in my household, but I am giving Italian cuisine some serious love lately!
Basil-Tofu Ricotta is heaven-sent for dairy free lovers of Italian food. The recipe is adapted from Isa & Terry‘s Veganomicon, though it first appeared in Vegan With A Vengeance which, as you and the whole world knows, is one of my favourite ever vegan cookbooks.
It’s awesomely versatile, great for pizza, lasagna, fettucine, calzones, you name it. Here, it is the star of the dish, mixed with spinach and used as a delicious stuffing for cannelloni smothered in a rich, garlicky-tomato sauce.
Aside from being super tasty, the tofu ricotta/spinach mix packs a big calcium punch. Not many people know it, but spinach and tofu are great sources of calcium ♥
Cannelloni with Basil-Tofu Ricotta and Fuck Yeah Garlic Tomato Pasta Sauce
8 oven-ready cannelloni tubes
1/2 bunch spinach, shredded
1 recipe Basil-Tofu Ricotta (recipe follows)
1 recipe Fuck Yeah Garlic Tomato Pasta Sauce (recipe follows)
250g firm tofu, pressed
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 clove garlic, crushed
1/8 tsp salt
a few cracks of fresh black pepper
handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
2 tsp olive oil
Crumble the tofu roughly into a large bowl using your hands. Add the lemon juice, garlic salt, pepper and basil. Mush with your hands again; this time you want it to be very mushy – squeeze through your fingers for a few minutes.
Add the olive oil, stir with a fork. Mix all ingredients well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Fuck Yeah Garlic Tomato Pasta Sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp raw sugar
1 t bsp tomato paste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Briefly heat olive oil in a medium-hot frying pan. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring. Add chopped tomatoes, sea salt, raw sugar and tomato paste. Mix well. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until sauce reduces and thickens, stirring. Season to taste with fresh black pepper. Set aside, covered, until needed.
Preparing the cannelloni:
Pour half of the Fuck Yeah Pasta Sauce into a small baking dish.
Mix the spinach with the Basil-Tofu Ricotta, and stuff each cannelloni tube with the mixture (you’ll probably have a little left over; cover, refrigerate and incorporate it into your kitchen adventures over the next day or two).
Place the stuffed cannelloni in the baking dish and pour over the remaining sauce; the cannelloni should be covered with sauce. Cover and bake for 30-35 minutes, until cannelloni is cooked through.