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Ricotta and Spinach Suffed Manicotti

What you need: 

1 pound firm tofu, drained
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 tablespoon garlic powder or 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup nurtritional yeast flakes
3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (8 ounce) package manicotti noodles
1 (24 ounce) tomato sauce (I like Barilla Lasagna and Casserole Sauce)
vegan mozzarella, shredded, optional (I use Soymage)

What you do: 

1. A little trick I learned working in a good Italian restaurant in New Jersey. You do not need to precook the manicotti noodles, just leave the filling a bit wetter than you normally would. The same goes for lasagna noodles. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Put tofu into food processor or bowl. Add spinach, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, yeast flakes, and about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pulse or mix by hand in bowl until well mixed and smooth, scraping sides of bowl. Taste. Adjust seasoning.
3. Fill large zip lock or regular plastic bag with mixture. Snip about a dime sized hole in bottom corner. Pipe mixture into manicotti shells, filling compactly.
4. Pour tomato sauce into a large bowl. Fill jar with about 1/2-3/4 cup water. Put top back on jar and shake well to further remove any remaining sauce. Add to sauce in bowl, mix well adding some olive oil. Ladle 1/2 sauce into a large retangular pan.
5. Put stuffed manicoti into sauce. Top with remaining sauce. Bake, covered 20-25 minutes. Remove cover and top with vegan mozzarella, if using. Bake another 10-15 minutes, until nice and bubbly and a little crunchy. Let cool a bit and enjoy!

Preparation Time: 
40 min
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
4

SO HOW'D IT GO?

This recipe was really good!  The only thing I changed was that I added half a jar of sauce to the mixture the second time I made it because the insides felt a bit dry without the added moisture.  BUT,  I cooked my noodles first and omitted the water-sauce part, so that could explain why mine was a bit dry.
I've already made it 3 times in 2 weeks.  Yummy!!  ;)b

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I made this and doubled the recipe, I served the first half to some friends, and froze the other half. A week later I thawed it and baked it for dinner it was fantastic both times. This is a great meal that you can have in your freezer and pull out if you are busy or having company over and need something fast.

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Mmmmm so much easier than it looks and tastier than I ever imagined without the cheese! Good idea to have some really good tomato sauce (homemade is best!) to go with it to compensate for the lack of flavour from the tofu (in comparison to ricotta). I like it because it's pretty simple but it has the potential to look pretty fancy. Really really really tasty. ;)b

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This recipe was very awesome.  I added a few more spices and more nutritional yeast but it was quite lovely. :)

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are you sure you dont have to pre-cook the pasta by dropping it in boiling water?
i would be thrilled if you confirmed that you dont; it saves me a lot of troublesome kitchen mess/slosh!

I make this all the time - we never pre-cook the noodles and it comes out perfect every time.  We also use a LOT of sauce, so maybe that's why... I don't know, maybe it's different depending on how much sauce you use or ovens or something... my sister tried making it, and her noodles didn't quite cook all the way.  =)  This probably wasn't helpful at all, was it?

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are you sure you dont have to pre-cook the pasta by dropping it in boiling water?
i would be thrilled if you confirmed that you dont; it saves me a lot of troublesome kitchen mess/slosh!

I would recommend pre-cooking it. That way, you'll be safe....

I was a little skeptical when I made this a while back, and I don't think mine ever really cooked all the way (and it took a really long time).

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are you sure you dont have to pre-cook the pasta by dropping it in boiling water?
i would be thrilled if you confirmed that you dont; it saves me a lot of troublesome kitchen mess/slosh!

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This was an awesome alternative to spaghetti or lasagna....My only issue was the manicotti was still too al dente for me. As you can see by my pic there was plenty of liquid on the shells, so I guess I will cook the pasta a bit before stuffing and baking.

Thanks for the recipe!
Meikmeika

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This was delicious!  I added a little crushed red pepper to the sauce and fresh basil and parsley to the tofu mixture.  Next time I'll add a little more sauce.  A definite do again!

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Could I use fresh spinach?  ???  I'm assuming that frozen would be better because it would make the mixture wetter, which would cook the manicotti.  I'm just wondering.

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