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Welcome to Romeo's Food Lady! This blog contains recipes for delicious vegetarian food. Most of these are not MY recipes, just a compilation of great veggie food I've found from all over the place, usually tweaked just a little. It's intended to be a reference you can consult again and again rather than a daily inspiration. After more than 25 years of being a vegetarian, I know what tastes good.
Romeo's Food Lady is named after my friend and cat, Romeo. Romeo is not a vegetarian, but his Food Lady is. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tofu Manicotti Florentine

Monday night I was in the mood for...something. I just didn't know what. Scott and I bounced some dinner ideas around, and when someone brought up stuffed manicotti, I knew that was it. I didn't feel like making anything complicated, but once my stomach thought about manicotti, I decided simple wasn't absolutely necessary. Honestly, though, this dish is not difficult. The most challenging part is getting the tofu-spinach mixture into the manicotti tubes!

8 oz. manicotti noodles (These are huge pasta tubes, if you're not familiar with them. I'm sure the giant shells would work just fine, too.)
1 lb. tofu (not the silken kind)
1 stick vegan margarine (I like Earth Balance vegan margarine.), melted
1/2 c. rice milk
1.5 t. salt
2 T. fresh basil, minced (I used basil from a previous gardening season that I had food-processed and frozen.)
1 T. dried parsley
1 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic
12 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce

Prepare the manicotti noodles according to package directions. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cool water so that the noodles are not too hot to handle.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Squeeze as much water as possible from the tofu. Put the tofu, margarine, rice milk, salt, basil, parsley, oregano, black pepper, onion, and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth. The mix should resemble the texture of ricotta cheese. Turn the mixture out into a medium-sized bowl.

Squeeze as much water as possible from the thawed chopped spinach. Use a spoon to thoroughly combine with the ricotta mixture.

Pour 1/2 of the jar of pasta sauce into a shallow baking dish that can hold the manicotti noodles in a single layer. Now stuff the manicotti with the tofu-spinach mixture. I held the noodle open and used a small spoon to stuff it in. Place the stuffed manicotti in a single layer on top of the pasta sauce in the baking dish. If a noodle splits open, fill it like a taco, fold it back over into a tube, and place it in the dish with the seam side down. Once all the manicotti are stuffed and arranged, pour the rest of the sauce over the top of the noodles.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and allow to set for 15 minutes before diving in.

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