Main, Pasta

Spinach and 'Ricotta' Conciglioni

This is a real crowd pleaser, people of all ages love it. Served with a green salad and garlic bread, its comforting but to heavy. I love to make for a Friday night dinner.

SERVES:
04-06

Ingredients

Cashew ricotta

  • 250g cashews soaked in boiling water for at least an hour, or in cold water overnight.
  • ½ cup water
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 2tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 small garlic clove grated or finely chopped
  • ¼ onion powder/ground onion (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt

Tomato sauce

  • 200g diced onion
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 3 tins chopped tomato or 1 tin and 500g passata
  • 3 tsp tomato ketchup or 2tsp sugar
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Small handful basil leaves roughly chopped

Pasta

  • 350g approx. Conciglioni pasta
  • 1kg spinach
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 2-3 tbs vegan Parmesan

Instructions

  1. If you haven't got your cashew nuts on to soak yet, do that first.
  2. Heat a large pan with 1 tbs olive oil, add the onions and cook for 5-10 minutes until translucent and starting to caramelise. Do not let them catch and burn, so keep on a low heat.
  3. Once the onions are cooked down add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two. Add in the tomatoes, 1 tsp salt and a good grind of pepper, the tomato ketchup or sugar. Stir to combine, turn the heat up to a simmer and then reduce to a low heat to cook down, stirring occasionally.
  4. Taka a large frying pan or wok and add drizzle of oil and the spinach, you want to cook the spinach down to wilted, no need to turn it to mush. You may want to do this gradually depending on the size of you pan.
  5. Once all the spinach has wilted, place in a sieve over a bowl and allow the liquid to drain away, push the spinach with the back of a spoon to remove as much excess liquid as possible. Leave in the sieve over a bowl to drain further, whilst you make the 'ricotta'.
  6. Drain your cashew nuts and place in a high-speed blender, with all the other 'ricotta' ingredients. Blend until smooth and taste for seasoning, adjust with more salt and lemon juice if needed. If It seems very stiff add a little more water, but I doubt you will fine this if the nuts have been soaked well.
  7. Don't forget to give your sauce a stir occasionally. Also check for seasoning.
  8. Get you pasta on to boil in a large pan of salted water, cook per packet instructions, minus 3 minutes as it will cook further in the oven.
  9. Pre heat the oven to 200°C Fan.
  10. Give the spinach one last push with a spoon to remove any excess liquid, and roughly chop. Add to a bowl along with the 'ricotta', grated nutmeg and a good grind of black pepper. Stir to combine and taste again for seasoning.
  11. Once the pasta is done drain and rinse for a few seconds under a cold tap.
  12. Take the tomato sauce off the heat and add the basil and give it a quick stir. Take one large or 2 small baking dishes and pour either all or half of the tomato sauce into the dish.
  13. Start a production line, with the shells followed by spinach mix and then dish of tomato sauce. Take a shell and spoon in approx. 1-2tbs of the ricotta mix into each shell and place into the sauce open side up. Repeat until all the shells are full. If you have any spinach left top some up, or if you have been over zealous, remove from the fuller ones.
  14. Sprinkle with the 'vegan Parm' and place in the hot oven until the sauce is bubbling and its starting to turn golden on top. Approx. 15 minutes
  15. Remove and leave to sit for a couple of minutes before serving, this will be very HOT!
  16. I serve mine with a crisp green salad and for extra carbs, garlic bread!

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