Stuffed Shells

I had some macadamia nuts I wanted to use up and decided to try my hand at stuffed shells. Wow, I had no idea at the yummers I was about to create. Hubby loved it so much that he requested this dish for his special birthday dinner! Stuffed shells take a little more work than I normally want to put into a meal, but it moves quickly and the result is worth it.

What is needed:

  • 1 large jar of your favorite pasta sauce. I use an oil free sauce.
  • 1 large portobello mushroom, diced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced. I like garlic, so I used 3 cloves
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 box large pasta shells
  • 4 cups raw macadamia nuts. Roasted nuts work, but make sure they are not salted
  • 2 Tablespoons raw pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon liquid aminos or 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup water + 2 Tablespoons
  • 2 dashes of nutmeg
  • 1 cup raw walnuts (optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cook shells according to box directions. After draining the shells, run under cold water until cool to touch.
  • Sauce: Place mushroom, garlic, onion, and 2 Tablespoons of water in a saucepan. Cover and steam saute, stirring intermittently, at medium heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add pasta sauce, turn burner to low, cover, and let simmer until ready to use.
  • Ricotta: Place macadamia and pine nuts in blender and pulse until ruffly chopped. Add liquid aminos or salt, lemon juice, 1 cup of water, and nutmeg. Blend until coarsely creamy.
  • Once pasta is ready, use a spoon to add a generous spoonful of macadamia ricotta into each shell and place stuffed shell into a lasagna pan. Repeat until out of shells and the pan has a full layer of stuffed shells. If any ricotta remains, add it to the pasta sauce.
  • Pour pasta sauce evenly over the stuffed shells. Place pan in oven and bake until sauce is bubbling. About 20 minutes. Remove and let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
  • Parmesan-like topping (optional): Place walnuts and nutritional yeast in a food processor. Process together until a course mixture. Sprinkle over baked stuffed shells and serve with extra on the side in case anyone wants extra. Hubby did!

My mouth is watering now and I’m thinking about when it makes sense to make this again. Ideally serve this with more vegetables. The photo has steamed yellow and white cauliflower. Yummers!

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