Friday, May 26, 2006

Pesto Stuffed Shells and Asparagus with Roasted Garlic Sauce

I cooked way too much this weekend--enough not to be able to post about it all in one day. So expect recipes all week long--yip yip.

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I cooked for my mom finally this weekend--a belated mother's day present (the delay was not due to slackerism on my part but moreso a long story involving arrest and whatnot). Anyways, I settled on Pesto Stuffed-Shells weeks ago and finally got around to making them (which was a good thing because you can now get boatloads of basil at the market for dirt cheap).

Early in the day, I diced up about 6-8 roma tomatoes and put them in a plastic container along with a few tablespoons worth of minced basil and two cloves of chopped garlic. I then drizzled a bit of olive oil over everything, gave it a stir, and let it sit out all afternoon marinating.

As dinner-time rolled around, I whipped up a batch of the pesto from Vegan with a Vengeance (using only half the amount of oil in the recipe though--some days I prefer a not-so-greasy pesto) and after doing so, I stuffed the cooked shells with a tofu ricotta (recipe here), substituting in cooked and drained spinach in place of the basil. I threw the shells into the oven at 350, after having drizzled a bit of the excess tomato-olive oil juices from the diced tomato-mixture over the top of them and let them get warm (about 15 minutes).

To serve, I spread out a bit of the uncooked tomato-mixture on a plate. I then set the shells out on top of it and crowned each shell with a nice, generous dollop of creamy pesto.

I was pleased with how these came out--they offered up a strange and wonderful mingling of flavors *AND* temperatures. The tomatoes added a nice bit of cool sweetness to the recipe while the pesto added a luxurious decadence. All in all, it ended up being a very good concoction. The only thing I need to play with is heating up the shells--the shells dry out a bit in the oven, so I need to figure out a way to keep them moist somehow (while still keeping the raw tomato mixture cold).


On the side, I whipped up a batch of roasted garlic using Fat Free Vegan's recipe from a couple weeks ago. Instead of steaming the asparagus, I topped it with the garlic-walnut mixture and tossed it in the broiler for a few. For some reason, the actual sauce came out a bit thicker than it did for FFV, but it still was damn good and we both scarfed it all down with nary a complaint.



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