Baked Manicotti w Kale & Red Wine Tomato Sauce

Ok this recipe is so good. The sauce and the filling are to die for! Is there anything better than pasta and red wine? Cuz I’m thinking no. My sister is coming to visit me next weekend (can’t wait!) and I always cook for her when we’re together…I’m thinking this might be the winner! But she gets to decide 😉

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-Manicotti shells

Ingredients – For The Tomato Sauce:

-1 Tablespoon oil

-1/2 of a medium onion, diced

-2 cloves garlic, minced — I wasn’t cooking at home and forgot my fresh garlic, ugh! —

-1/2 Cup dry red wine

-28 oz can crushed tomatoes

-1 Tablespoon sugar

-1 1/2 teaspoon oregano

-1 teaspoon basil

-Salt and pepper

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Ingredients – For The Vegan Ricotta & Kale Filling:

-1 Tablespoon oil

-1/2 of a medium onion, diced

-3 garlic cloves, minced

-4 Cups kale

-1 1/2 Cups raw cashews, boiled for 8 minutes and drained

-3/4 Cup unflavored almond milk

-1/4 Cup fresh lemon

-Salt to taste

-1 lb firm or extra firm tofu


-Cook the manicotti shells: bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the manicotti shells and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to pot, tossing with a few dashes of olive oil to keep them from sticking together

-Make the tomato sauce: coat the bottom of a large saucepan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and saute until softened, for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more. Add wine and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced by half, 2 – 3 minutes

-Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, sugar, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Stir a few times to incorporate. Bring to a simmer and lower heat. Allow to simmer 15 – 20 minutes, until thickened slightly


-Make the Vegan ricotta & kale filling: while the sauce simmers , coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and place it over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute more. Add kale and continue to saute until fully wilted, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool


^I always feel so accomplsihed when I am using all 4 burners . . . such a dork!

-Place the cashews, milk, lemon juice, and salt into the bowl of food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the tofu and pulse a few times until a chunky, ricotta – like texture is achieved

-If you have room in your food processor, add the kale mixture and pulse just until blended. Otherwise, you can transfer the ricotta mixture to the skillet to mix (if the skillet is cool), or transfer to a mixing bowl, and mix with a large spoon or spatula


-Make the baked manicotti: preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour 1/2 of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a large baking dish, or divide it among two smaller dishes

-Using a pastry bag (or a ziploc bag with a corner snipped off) — you guys know me by now to know I used my hands for this step! It was so tedious I had to do it. Next time I will try using the pastry bag —- pipe the ricotta mixture into the manicotti shells. Arrange the filled shells in the baking dish


-Pour the remaining sauce over the shells and cover with foil. Bake until the sauce is bubbly, 20-25 minutes

-Remove from the oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving, garnish with fresh parsley if desired




One of the books I’m reading, ‘How Not To Die’ by Michael Greger, just had a little paragraph about kale and I wanted to share a few facts that I learned . . .

-Americans eat far too little kale

-The average American consumes about .05 pounds of kale each year. That’s about 1/5 cups per person . . . per decade! 

-Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet

-Kale may also help fight off infection

-Even boiling Kale nonstop for 30 minutes does not affect antibody production, it actually appeared to work even better

Eat More Kale!


2 thoughts on “Baked Manicotti w Kale & Red Wine Tomato Sauce

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