September 1, 2013
By Miyoko Schinner, Portland VegFest Chef
This is a favorite dish in my cooking classes and is easily and quickly made. Stuffed with the light and fluffy Almond Ricotta and smothered in marinara, it is a truly satisfying entrée. Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 2 cups blanched, slivered almonds, soaked in water for 12 – 24 hours
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup slivered basil
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- Salt and pepper
- 2 quarts homemade or store-bought marinara sauce
- 1 pound large pasta shells, manicotti or cannelloni, cooked according to package instructions
- Make the filling: Drain the almonds, rinse, and put them in a blender with the water. Process until light, fluffy, and creamy (there will be a little texture, but it should not be gritty on the tongue). In a bowl, combine the ricotta, basil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper, and mix well.
- Fill the shells and bake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Stuff the cooked pasta with the filling. Pour about two cups of marinara in the bottom of a large baking dish, about 13” x 9”, then arrange the stuffed pasta in it. Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the pasta. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes until hot and bubbling. If desired, you can grate or slice some meltable Mozzarella over the pasta before baking.