Spinach and "Ricotta"-Stuffed Pasta with Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce
I love the freshness of the oregano in this recipe, but if you don't have any on hand, dried herbs will work just fine and can be substituted using a ratio of  1:3 dried to fresh.  
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian, Healthy, Vegan
Serves: 3-4 servings
  • For the tofu ricotta:
  • 1 (14-ounce) block extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1½ tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons mellow white miso
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the pasta and sauce:
  • 4 tb olive oil, divided
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup dry White wine (optional)
  • 1 24 ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 24 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 ½ tsp dried basil (or about a tablespoon and a half chopped fresh basil)
  • ¼ tsp Crushed red pepper
  • splash of balsamic vinegar to taste
  • 3 tb finely chopped Fresh oregano (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 7 ounces brown rice or whole wheat manicotti (I like this kind)
  • 8 oz baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • salt to taste
  • Fresh basil to garnish, optional
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until translucent.  Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.  Pour in the white wine if using, and cook for a couple minutes to burn off some of the liquid.  Add both cans of tomatoes, and dried herbs (fresh herbs are added later), crushed red pepper, and salt to taste.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes slightly darken and the flavors meld.  Add a splash of balsamic vinegar to taste (about 2 teaspoons), and stir in the fresh oregano.  Adjust salt to taste.
  2. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  3. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add 2 tablespoons salt and par-cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.  If pasta will be sitting for a while, lightly toss it with oil so that it doesn't stick together.
  4. To make the tofu ricotta, combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, stopping to push down the sides with a rubber spatula if needed.  Adjust seasonings to taste and set aside.
  5. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium frying pan.  Add spinach, and generous pinch of salt  and cook for 2 minutes, or until the spinach has just wilted and is still bright green.  Allow to cool slightly.
  6. Combine the spinach and tofu ricotta in a medium bowl and stir until evenly incorporated.  Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag or large freezer bag, and cut off a small corner at the bottom of the bag.
  7. Spread half the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Pipe the spinach-ricotta mixture from the bag to fill each noodle, and arrange them in a single layer in the baking dish. Spread the remaining sauce over the top of the noodles, cover with foil and bake according to the pasta package directions, about 40 minutes.   Garnish with fresh basil right before serving if desired.
Recipe by Spoon With Me at https://spoonwithme.com/spinach-and-ricotta-stuffed-pasta-with-fire-roasted-tomato-sauce/