Tofu Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce

Tofu Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce
Ok folks, don’t knock it until you try it! I can already hear the peanut gallery saying “ew, tofu stuffed shells?!”. I promise you no one is going to know it’s tofu, and yes I know everyone says that when they have a vegan alternative recipe, but I really do promise. These shells are a family favorite of ours! We don’t make them to ‘avoid dairy’ necessarily, we make them simply because they are so delicious. These may look intimidating but I assure you they are easily to make and you’ll find yourself craving them!  Just give this a shot, you won’t regret it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb dried jumbo shells

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons oil or butter of choice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt of choice, I prefer pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened plant based milk, I prefer cashew milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoons oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 box extra firm organic tofu, drained (if you can find organic sprouted tofu that’s even better!)
  • 2  tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon preferred salt, I prefer pink Himalayan salt 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ​1 tablespoon white miso paste (found at Whole Foods in refrigerated case)
  • ​3 cups fresh basil leaves

Garnish: Parsley and a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese if your heart desires.

Instructions:

  • Cook the jumbo shells according to package instructions, be careful not to over cook them. Drain and set aside.
  • Make the sauce:
    • Heat 2 of the tablespoons of oil or butter in a large pan, add the garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper – sauté until fragrant
    • Add the can of crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes
    • Remove from heat and add in your plant-milk and brown sugar, taste and adjust to your liking  and set aside.

  • Make the Filling: 
    • Heat the oil in a pan, once hot add in the onion and sauté until soft
    • Add the sautéed onion to a food processor along with the garlic, tofu, lemon juice, salt, pepper and miso paste. Pulse until it resembles ricotta cheese. Do not over blend it!
    • Add basil and give it a few more pulses until the basil is worked into the mix.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F
  • Grease an oven safe dish with a little oil or butter

  • Assemble:
    • ​Stuff the shells with the stuffing mixture, careful not to over stuff the shells
    • Pour some sauce mixture into the prepared baking dish. Lay the stuffed shells into the pan and spoon more sauce over top.

Bake covered for 15 minutes, remove the lid/foil and continue to cook for another 10 minutes before serving. If you are going to garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese, do so during the last 10 minutes of baking time. Sprinkle with a little parsley before serving. Enjoy!

​Recipe adapted from Chew Chloe, Photo from Canva

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