Eggplant Manicotti with Tofu Ricotta and Cashew Bechamel

There is nothing more satisfying than eating a big ol' plate of manicotti, and never feeling that "pasta" bloat. The fresh basil, beautifully sweet San Marzano tomatoes and creamy bechamel sauce makes this dinner party worthy. You'll win anyone over with this dish.

Ingredients

Setup

3 Eggplants

SPINACH TOFU RICOTTA

  • 1 12-ounce block of the firmest tofu you can find, preferably in a vacuum pack
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 8 oz pack frozen, chopped spinach, defrosted and drained well
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves, torn

 

CASHEW BACHAMEL

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 3-4 hours, or boiled for 20 minutes
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon onion granules
  • pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

 

MARINARA SAUCE

  • 1 28-ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons date paste (or liquid sweetener of choice)

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

Cut off the top and bottom of each eggplant and slice them vertically in 1/8-inch strips. These will be your noodles. Place the slices on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle a little bit of sea salt on each slice. When the oven is ready, bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake another 7--10 minutes, or until they begin to brown just a little. You don't want them to crisp up as you will not be able to roll them. Set aside and allow to cool.

 

RICOTTA

In a medium bowl, crumble up the tofu with you hands. Add in the tahini, nutritional yeast and shallots and mix well. Add garlic, nutmeg and the lemon juice and zest. Mix again and season with salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the chopped spinach and basil. Keep mixing until well combined. Mixtures should hold together well in your hands. This indicates tofu and spinach were drained well. Chill in fridge until ready to be used.

 

BECHAMEL

Drain the soaking or boiling water and place cashews in a blender. Preheat a large skillet. Add the onion and a tiny pinch of sea salt to the pan, bring pan down to a medium flame and continually stir the onions. Add a splash of water if the onions begin to stick. Once browned, add the onions to the blender with the cashews along with the vegetable broth, white wine, garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, onion granules, nutmeg, white pepper and salt. Blend until creamy. Set aside. Transfer to a bowl or container and set aside.

 

MARINARA

To a food processor or blender, blend the marinara ingredients and adjust balsamic and sweetener to taste.

 

ASSEMBLING

Spread the marinara on a 9 X 13 baking dish. Lay out a slice of the baked eggplant, with the small end closest to you. Scoop some of the ricotta on that end and roll. Place the roll-up seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat. Spoon over the remaining marinara and drizzle bechamel on top. Bake uncovered 30-35 minutes, or when it starts to bubble. Allow to cool just a bit for it to firm up a little.

Parts of this recipe were adapted from my friends at Rouxbe.

 

Like this? Share it!

How did this recipe work out?

Leave a Reply



(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)


Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.