Manicotti noodles filled with tempeh sausage and tofu pesto ricotta. So easy, so healthy, so delicious!
First, make the pesto ricotta. Squeeze the tofu over the sink squeezing as much liquid out as possible. If it starts to crumble it's no problem, you will be blending it.
Then, add all the ricotta ingredients to a food processor. Pulse, scraping down the sides as needed until everything comes together, but still has some texture and looks ricotta like. Set aside.
Now, begin boiling water for the manicotti. Once it is boiling, cook according to package instructions. This will be enough filling for about half the box(7).
While the manicotti is boiling, make the tempeh sausage. Heat the olive oil in a non stick skillet on medium high.
Then, crumble the block of tempeh into the pan. Break up any really large pieces so it looks like sausage crumbles.
Saute, reducing heat as needed, for 4-5 minutes until the tempeh starts to brown. Then stir in all the seasonings. Toss to coat. Saute for another minute or so, making sure the tempeh is browned all around. Remove from heat.
Preheat the oven 400 degrees.
Once you have drained the manicotti, let them cool for a few minutes so you can handle them.
While you wait, add the pesto ricotta and sausage to a mixing bowl, and stir to combine(if you want you can leave a little bit of sausage out to sprinkle on top).
Then, pour about half of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a baking dish.
Once the manicotti is cool enough to handle, add the ricotta/sausage mixture to a ziploc bag. Cut a small hole in the corner, so you can pipe the filling into the pasta.
Take one manicotti, pipe filling into one side, then the other to make sure the whole noddle is filled. Repeat with remaining noddles.
Place each one in the baking dish. Top with the rest of the marinara, vegan cheese if you want, and the tempeh sausage you saved, if that was your thing.
Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until everything is hot and the sauce is bubbly. If you made them ahead of time and they were in the fridge, they may need to bake for 15 minutes or so.
Serve immediately with fresh basil.
If you want to make the whole box of manicotti, I recommend just doubling the ricotta recipe.