Cook the conchiglie: Cook the pasta shells for around 2-3 minutes less than the packaging instructions. Drain and rinse when done.
Preheat the oven: Lightly grease a rectangular baking dish with olive oil or vegan butter, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F.
Make the tomato sauce: Heat some olive oil in a frying pan or saucepan over a medium-high heat. Now add onion, garlic and tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Next, add canned tomatoes, dried oregano and salt, and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
Make the tofu ricotta: Add extra firm tofu, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, tahini and plant based milk to a blender or food processor and blend on a low speed for a few seconds.
Add spinach: Transfer the ‘ricotta’ to a frying pan over a medium heat together with the spinach. Stir for a couple of minutes, until the spinach wilts, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Assemble the pasta shells: Add a layer of the tomato sauce to the baking dish. Next, add around 1-2 tbsp to the ricotta to each pasta shell and arrange them in an even layer above the tomato sauce. If you wish, you can add some more tomato sauce on top.
Bake the shells: Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, until crispy and golden.
Recipe tips for best results
Make sure not to overcook the pasta shells. It’s really important that they are al dente, because this will make sure that they don’t fall apart when you add the filling.
Use extra firm tofu for the best crumbly texture.
Either fresh or frozen spinach works well.
If you want to, you can use store-bought vegan ricotta, and a store-bought tomato/marinara sauce.
You can add other vegetables of your choice to the tomato sauce.
In order to save time, you can make the tofu ricotta while the onion and garlic for the tomato sauce are cooking.
You can add either grated vegan cheese, or homemade vegan parmesan on top of the pasta shells either before baking, or when you’re ready to serve.
Instructions for storage and freezing
You can keep these vegan stuffed shells in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave in 1-minute intervals, until warmed through. Or you can reheat in a baking dish in the oven for around 10 minutes.
You can freeze the pasta shells before baking. Cover and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, allow to thaw fully in the fridge for around 8 hours, then bake at 180 degrees C/350 F for 30 minutes.