Friday, October 29, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper, Fig and Olive Manicotti

Sometimes I even amaze myself. I have been thinking about stuffed pasta for a while and really wanted to stay away from any sort of 'fake cheese' tofu stuffed sort of thing.  So, after a long time of thinking on it (bear in mind that for my Type A personality a long time is probably only a couple of days) I came up with this.

I looked for an interesting pasta to stuff but in absence of making my own it seems I only had shells or manicotti to choose from. So, I chose the manicotti. Not the end of the world.

While this isn't the simplest dish in the world from a time perspective it is worth the investment. I hope you give it a go. If you modify it let me know as I am already thinking of a million variations!

Roasted Red Pepper, Fig and Olive Manicotti

2 13 oz jars roasted red peppers (or you could roast your own)
14 Manicotti shells
2 oz kalamata olive tapenade (I used one that comes in a jar)
5 fresh figs chopped
4 oz shitake mushrooms chopped
1/2 cup vegan sour cream such as Tofutti
1/2 cup breadcrumb
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp fresh thyme chopped
2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
5 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Set oven to 350 degrees.

To make the filling:
Chop one jar of roasted red pepper. Saute the figs in 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the peppers and olive tapenade. Season with the thyme, chives and salt and pepper and heat until warmed through. Transfer to a bowl to cool and add bread crumb and sour cream. Set aside.

For the sauce:
In a powerful blender or food processor add the rest of the peppers,  3 tbsp olive oil, half the mushrooms, lemon zest and lemon juice and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Boil water and cook the pasta until it is slightly underdone (about 8-9 minutes).  Drain and set aside to cool. Saute the other half of the mushrooms in 1 tbsp of olive oil until tender and set aside for garnish. Add additional chive and thyme if desired.

Stuff each cooled manicotti with the filling until it is full but not overstuffed and placed into a baking dish lightly sprayed with cooking oil.  Cover with about half the sauce and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until warmed through.

To serve garnish with the sauteed mushroom mixture and additional sauce if desired.

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