Ironically this pasta dish is quite literally to die for. I think it would be up there as one of my death roe meals. Think about it, smooth and creamy ricotta filling, thats not too heavy as its packed with beautifully wilted spinach and the zest and juice of a lemon.This filling is housed in perfectly cooked and salted conchiglioni shells that give this dish a more-ish bite. Then you have the salty briney puttanesca marinara sauce filled with capers, kalamata olives and garlic. All of this topped off with a tangy cheesy drizzle and fresh herbs, I am drooling at the mouth here as I type.
I even like picking on the left overs in the fridge. One of these stuffed conchiglie served cold with a little extra salt, delicious!
1 HOUR. SERVES 4
20 conchiglioni shells
115g soaked cashew nuts
125ml cashew milk or any other PB milk
juice and zest of a lemon
3 tbs nutritional yeast
1 garlic clove
4 large hand fulls of spinach
2 shallots, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
75g pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped
75g capers, finely chopped
1 tbs brown sugar
vegan cheese like mozzarella, something that will melt nicely.
optional additions: vegan pesto to drizzle on top, basil, thyme, pine nuts or sun flower seeds
Firstly preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Bring a saucepan to the boil with heavily salted water. Add the pasta shells and cook 2 minutes less than instructed.
While pasta is cooking place the cashews, tofu, milk, lemon, nutritional yeast, garlic and S&P in a high speed blender. Blitz on high until everything is smooth and you have a beautiful paste. Adjust seasoning as needed adding more lemon, nutritional yeast or S&P if you like.
Cook the spinach in boiling salted water for 10 seconds, quickly drain and plunge into ice cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and squeeze excess water out with hands.
Add to the lemony ricotta cream.
In a skillet over medium heat add a good glug of olive oil. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté until golden brown - careful not to burn garlic.
Once nice and fragrant add the olives, capers and brown sugar and fry for another 2/3 minutes. Add the passata and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and leave reduce for 10 minutes.
Spread the sauce in an even layer on the bottom of a baking tray or casserole dish. Fill each shell with the lemon ricotta and spinach filling, sprinkle over some vegan cheese and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
When out of the oven drizzle with pesto or a good quality olive oil. Sprinkle some toasted pine nuts or sun flower seeds and shred some fresh basil to garnish.