Aug 14, 2009
Roasted baby white eggplant and homemade seitan are stuffed into large pasta shells and topped with a spinach basil pesto.
What is it about pasta dishes? I've always craved them since I was a kid, eating instant ramen and tuna casserole (before vegan). Spaghetti and marinara was my cheap staple in college. And I could never turn down a ravioli or lasagna.
One thing that's different since I became a vegan, is the lack of cheese in these dishes. True, there are some great subs out there, but I find myself without them sometimes, because they tend to be expensive and I've been trying to cut down on processed foods.
To make up for the lack of creaminess, I used pureed roasted eggplant in the filling, and "cheesy" cashews in the pesto. It was so rich and full of flavor, I didn't miss a thing!
These beauties came from my garden. They're little white eggplant- something I've never seen in the supermarkets.
This is what they look like after roasting - too bad they don't stay white!
Spinach Basil Pesto
1/2 C. cashews
1 C. fresh basil
2 C. fresh spinach
3 cloves garlic (I used roasted, but you may want to cut back if using raw)
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
salt to taste
Process the cashews until you get a crumble. Put everything else in and puree until it becomes a smooth sauce.
1 12-oz. package of jumbo pasta shells
2 C. roasted eggplant
3 cloves roasted garlic
1 C. chopped seitan
1/2 C. roasted onion
1 C. roasted summer squash
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried rosmary
salt & pepper to taste
Cook the shells as directed. Puree the eggplant, garlic, and summer squash. Add the seitan and pulse until small, but still a little chunky. Mix in the spices to taste. Drain shells, and let cool enough to handle. Use a spoon to fill with the mixture. I did have some shells left over.
I also ate mine with more cooked veggies and some good marinara sauce.