Stuffed Shells & Fried Ricotta Balls

Keeping this post quick and simple. Here is the recipe for awesome vegan jumbo stuffed shells and the first listing of my new favorite appetizer/side dish, my fried ricotta balls. Melissa thinks we should call them fried lasagna bites. I am open to opinions and suggestions for the name. Regardless of what we decide to call them, they are awesome and I could eat a million of them.

IMG_1501

 

The basis for both these recipes begin with homemade vegan ricotta. This is a pretty simple recipe and it comes out super creamy and flavorful.

Ingredients

3 garlic gloves

one 14 oz block extra firm tofu drained (no need to press)

1/4 nutritional yeast flakes

1/4 tsp all spice

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp cayenne powder

1 Tbs lemon juice

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 black pepper

 

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend the shit out of it until smooth and creamy.

 

I use one full recipe for the fried balls so if you are making both you will need 2 batches. I recommend making them separately rather than doubling the numbers per ingredient.

 

Fried Ricotta Balls (Fried Lasagna Balls)

1 batch vegan ricotta

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup bread crumbs

2 tbs corn meal

1 tsp corn starch

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp poultry seasoning

1/4 black pepper

1/4 tsp sea salt

 

Directions

Mix all ingredients expect the ricotta in a bowl. Scoop about 1 tbs of ricotta and roll into the flour mixture to coat evenly. Do this until all the ricotta has been balled. Set aside. Bring your favorite frying oil to a high heat, I like using sunflower oil. Make sure your oil is deep enough for balls to be completely covered. Oil is high enough when you drop some flour into it and it sizzles. Slowly drop your balls into the oil and fry for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel for a minute to catch extra oil. Serve with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.

 

 

Jumbo Stuffed Shells

1 Batch ricotta

1 onion diced

1/2 cup freshly chopped basil

1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley

1 box jumbo shells

 

Boil the pasta according to box directions. Be careful not to overcook as they will bake more later. You want them to be just al dente. Preheat over to 400. Sauté the onion in a skillet until soft. I use water rather than oil however you can use whatever you like to do this. Add the basil and parsley and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the ricotta and stir together until warm. Remove from heat. When the shells are boiled, remove and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Add 1 cup of marinara sauce to the bottom of a large casserole dish. When shells are cool enough to touch, start filling them with about 2 tablespoons of ricotta mixture and placing them into the dish. Once full, top shells with remaining 2 cups of marinara sauce. Cover with foil, poking holes to vent. Bake for 20 minutes.

 

Hope you enjoy!

-Chef Drew

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