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Pecan and Sun Dried Tomato Stuffed Shells

Serves: 3 to 4 (~ 4 to 5 stuffed shells per person)
Cook Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Prep Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients :

Stuffed shells:

  1. 15 to 20 medium sized dried pasta shells (~2 inches long when dry), cooked to al dente
  2. ¾ cup pecan nuts
  3. ½ cup sundried tomatoes in olive oil
  4. ½ cup whole peeled shallots
  5. 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  6. 8 oz. firm tofu
  7. ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  8. ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Aglio Olio sauce:

  1. 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 whole head garlic, minced
  3. 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  4. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  5. ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta shells according to package instructions or till your desired al dente texture. Pasta shells of this size should cook to al dente between 12 to 15 minutes. Remove pasta from cooking water and set aside on an oiled plate or sheet pan to cool.
  2. While paste is cooking, lightly toast pecan nuts in a shallow pan over medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes until fragrant and set aside. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop them and set aside.
  3. In a food processor, blend sundried tomatoes, shallots and fresh thyme until a paste forms. Transfer into a mixing bowl.
  4. Then add chopped pecans, tofu, sea salt and ground black pepper to the sundried tomato mixture. Using a fork, mash and blend well all ingredients.
  5. Pasta shells should be cool enough to handle by now. Stuff each shell with about 2 to 3 teaspoons of the pecan sundried tomatoes mixture and set aside on a plate.
  6. Next prepare the aglio olio sauce. In a medium shallow pan (about 10 inches in diameter) that can fit all 15 to 16 stuffed shells in a snug layer, steep garlic, parsley, sea salt and ground black pepper in the olive oil, over medium to low heat for about 2 minutes. When the oil starts to bubble a little, turn heat down to low and simmer for another 2 minutes.
  7. Gently arrange stuffed shells in pan. Cover and cook gently over low heat for 15 minutes. From time to time during this 15 minutes, remove cover and baste shells with aglio olio sauce. (Tilt the pan a little and scoop a little sauce with a spoon and drizzle over shells).
  8. Best served warm as an appetizer or entrée.

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