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Meatless Monday Recipe: Stuffed Pasta Shells

Photo: Brad Klopman

One of the best vegan chefs I know is my mom, and she's not even vegan, or vegetarian. When I go home she has tons of vegan dishes and baked goods prepared. How lucky am I? I just saw her last week and she had made these stuffed shells that were delicious. She wrote the recipe down for us.

Stuffed Pasta Shells

2 Tbl. olive oil

1 med. onion

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups mushrooms, chopped

2 cups vegan hamburger or crumbled "meat"

1 10 oz package frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry

1 16 oz extra firm tofu, drained (crumbled or diced)

1 2lb 13 oz jar pasta (spaghetti) sauce (Ragu, Prego, or anything you like)

1 package Daiya "cheese" mozzarella

1/4 c. red cooking wine

1 box jumbo pasta shells

parsley, oregano, italian seasoning, salt, pepper to taste

Saute onions, garlic, mushrooms, and vegan meat in 2 T olive oil in skillet over medium heat until onions are soft. Mix in the spinach and cook for a bit. Then mix in the diced tofu and the seasonings. (My mom doesn't measure, so just use your best guess.)

Cook the shells according to the box and then stuff them with saute mixture. It's easiest to stuff by hand. My mom says she had 10 shells leftover from a 12 oz jumbo box.

Pour 1/4 c. wine into the spaghetti sauce and heat. When heated, pour 2 cups of the sauce into a 11 X 15 baking dish.

Place shells on top with open side up. Pour remaining sauce over shells. Cover and bake at 350* for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes sprinkle with the cheese and bake 5 minutes longer, covered.

Remove from oven and serve.

Thanks, Mom!