My favorite vegan cheese--of any kind, really--is the cashew ricotta from Veganomicon. Unfortunately, I rarely make it because my daughter is sensitive to eating too much soy. After a bit of experimenting I came up with this recipe that relies on white beans and cashews as a base, making for a nutritious soy-free alternative to Isa Moskowitz' and Terry Romero's classic. (And may I say, if you are not soy free, please try their recipe at least once. It is beyond delicious.) Here I've used my ricotta in a very simple version of stuffed shells. I par-boiled 8 oz large rice shells (Tinkyada brand) for about 9 minutes, drained and filled them, and arranged in a baking dish covered with about a cup homemade marinara. I then topped the pasta with another 2 cups sauce and baked at 350 F for 25 minutes.
White bean-cashew "ricotta" (makes about 3 cups)
1 1/2 cups cooked small white beans, or 1 15-oz can drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cup raw cashew pieces, covered with water and soaked overnight, drained
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried Italian herb blend (optional)
Put everything in a food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.
Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays 6/28/11