Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving crowd pleaser

With the holidays here, we're all cooking up our favorite crowd pleasing recipes. I find that when I'm headed to an event with particularly picky eaters (like die-hard carnivores and kids on the "all white food diet"), I need to supply a veggie dish that's not too exotic. Thankfully, I came up with this recipe for white bean stuffed shells a few years ago and it hasn't let me down since. The beauty with this recipe is how it allows you to transform numerous dairy laden Italian treats into a plant-lover's dream.

I tripled the recipe Wednesday night, which allowed me to whip up some shells for Thanksgiving at our cousins in Kennebunk, stuff manicotti for a party at my parent's house yesterday and end up with enough filling to do a small casserole dish just so Adam and I would be assured some leftovers. Boy, were we thankful for that extra dish!

White Bean Stuffed Shells

2 cups cooked white beans
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 medium onion, diced
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. salt
dash of Tabasco sauce
8 oz. jumbo pasta shells
40 oz. pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta shells until al dente, drain and rinse. Add olive oil and onion to skillet over medium heat and cook until they begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes.

In a food processor, add beans, garlic clove, toasted sesame oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed, basil, salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce. Puree until smooth. Mix in grated carrots and sauteed mushrooms and onions.

Add a layer of pasta sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish. Spoon a heaping tablespoon full of bean mixture into each shell. Place in casserole dish. When the dish is full, spoon remaining pasta sauce over the top. Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered. Serves 4.


J said...

This sounds really wonderful. Most vegan Italian dishes are laden with tofu, which I'm not really a fan of. Your filling sounds like something even an omni could enjoy. I think I could even find most of these ingredients locally. Hmmmm. I'm going to have to take down this recipe - thanks!

Anonymous said...

This is such a unique idea - I know I'm going to try it. I had to laugh at the "white diet" comment - so true with some kids!

Meg Wolff said...

This looks like a fantastic vegan (or non-vegan) crowd pleaser (or kid pleaser)!

Anonymous said...

I usually use a tofu ricotta to stuff my shells with but this sounds like such a wonderful way to do it I'm going to try it next time. Thanks for sharing!

Regina said...

that sounds super tasty, I'll have to test it out on my fam soemtime!

Tammy said...

Being this is my first winter a vegan, my husband was positive that my need for comfort food would make me crumble. And frankly, with the lack of a local harvest to pick from every week, I too had my doubts - what's a vegan to eat in the depths of a Maine winter? Well, I wanted to tell you that I have made this recipe three times since you posted it and it has satisfied my comfort food craving everytime - and it so easy to make - thank you!