John Marc - Stuffed shells with basil tofu ricotta

John Marc

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Stuffed shells with basil tofu ricotta


Before we opened Little Pine, I told our staff that one of my favorite foods growing up was stuffed shells, and that I had sorely missed them since becoming a vegan. They heard my thinly veiled plea and used their knowledge and creativity to make stuffed shells that are every bit as good as those my mom used to make. When people have asked me in the past about the creamy ricotta in this recipe, l’ve always said, “I don’t know how they do it,” so I’m excited to share the secret at last.


  • One 12-ounce package jumbo pasta shells (about 24)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Basil tofu ricotta:

  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • One 14-ounce block extra-firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 1 recipe Tomato Sauce (or 1 jar premade)
  • ½ cup shredded vegan parmesan (or mozzarella)


  • 1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  • 2 Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the shells according to the package instructions. Drain the shells well, rinse under cold water, and return them to the pot. Add the olive oil and toss to coat so that the shells do not stick together. Set aside.

  • 3 MAKE THE BASIL TOFU RICOTTA: In a food processor, combine the garlic, salt, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice and process until smooth. Add the crumbled tofu and process until completely smooth. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the basil.

  • 4 To assemble, evenly spread about 2 cups of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a large casserole dish. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the tofu ricotta into each shell and place them open side up in the casserole dish. Repeat until all the ricotta has been used up. Pour the remaining tomato sauce on top of the stuffed shells. Bake for 25 minutes. Top with the parmesan and bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve piping-hot, scattered with fresh basil.