Vegan Cannelloni

This simple and tasty vegan cannelloni is more substantial than the traditional, cheese-filled version and much lower in fat. The dish combines the richness of a herby tomato sauce with the creamy-soft, umami tofu ricotta. We used shop bought cannelloni tubes, which are generally vegan but check the label, so although it’s a bit fiddly stuffing the tubes, you can do it while the tomato sauce is cooking and the preparation is quite straightforward. The ricotta-filled tubes in the rich sauce combine classic Italian flavours when paired with a simple, green salad to make you feel like you’ve died and woken up by the Mediterranean.

Ingredients

Ricotta

200g firm tofu – medium-press

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 small clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp lemon juice

½ tsp tamari

Salt and pepper to taste

Cannelloni tubes

Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion

2 cloves garlic

2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

½ tsp oregano

½ tsp dried basil

A pinch of sugar or 1/2 tsp agave nectar

Salt and pepper

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C (356 deg F / gas mark 4)

Crumble the tofu into a bowl and add the other ‘ricotta’ ingredients. Mix them up well, you may want to use your hands, and leave to stand while you make the sauce.

Dice the onion and finely chop the garlic.

Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan and add the diced onions and cook until soft. Add the chopped garlic and leave to cook for a minute or two, do not allow it to brown. Add the tomatoes, olive oil, oregano and basil and allow to simmer. Add the salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Simmer the sauce until it reduces to a thick consistency, about 20 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, stuff the ricotta mixture into the cannelloni tubes and place the tubes flat in an oven-proof dish. When the sauce is ready, pour it over the tubes so they are completely covered. Place in the pre-heated oven for 35 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

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