I agree with chef Bonnie Tees that stir-fries are one of the most poorly prepared (and, in my opinion, over prepared) vegetarian menu items out there. If I have to eat another bland burrito, stir-fry, or plate of spaghetti with marinara, so help me God…
With that said, it's nice that in today's food world, vegetarian options have finally expanded beyond the three fallback items above. Restaurants around the world are now more willing to take chances with vegetarian dishes—even if that chance is just an updated version of an old classic.
Chef Bonnie, from Bonnys in Montréal, was sweet enough to share this recipe for cannelloni—the classic tube-shaped pasta that is often stuffed with a creamy filling before being covered in tomato sauce and baked.
I opted to add extra sauce to my "cannelloni" (I had to follow Bonnie's advice and use rolled lasagne sheets because I couldn't find cannelloni), which I learned is now acceptable because The New York Times says so. The result was a comforting dish that surprisingly had even more flavor than I had expected from the minimal ingredients.
Tofu and Spinach-Stuffed Cannelloni With Tomato Sauce
For the Tomato Sauce: 1 28-oz. #3 can whole tomatoes, blended1 8-oz. can tomato paste1 Tbsp. maple syrup2 bay leaves2 tsp. basil1/4 tsp. cayenne1/4 cup barley or rice miso
For the Cannelloni: 1 bunch spinach, washed1 medium onion, diced4 cloves garlic, minced1 block firm tofu, crumbled in a food processor2 tsp. tarragon1 tsp. salt1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg1 tsp. umeboshi vinegar8 cooked cannelloni noodles
Note: You can cook lasagne noodles and cut them in half to use in place of the cannelloni noodles.
Makes 8 cannelloni
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