I love raw Italian Food! There are ways to mimic spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, pizza, you name it—all using veggies, nuts and seeds. This manicotti is an impressive gluten-free and vegan dish that is a great way to introduce newbies to raw food. This makes quite a bit, so share the raw food love with family & friends!
For the Noodles:
4 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Spinach & Sunflower Cheese Filling:
2 cups of sunflower seeds (from above)
½ cup water
½ cup lemon juice
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
8 cups spinach
½ cup parsley
1½ tablespoons Italian Seasoning
For the Herby Tomato Sauce:
3 cups of sundried tomatoes, measured after soaking (from above)
1 cup water
1 medium tomato, chopped
¼ cup cold-pressed olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
2 teaspoons rosemary
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon fennel seed
½-1 teaspoon salt, only if your sun-dried tomatoes are unsalted
2 tablespoons hemp seed, for garnish, if desired
- Soak 2 cups of sunflower seeds in pure water for 4-6 hours. Drain and rinse.
- In a separate bowl, soak 2 cups of sundried tomatoes in pure water for 4 hours or longer. Drain
For the Noodles
- Cut off both ends of each zucchini. Using a mandoline, slice the zucchini the long way so that you have long, wide noodles. If a mandoline is not available, use a knife, cutting as thinly as possible.
- Place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss very gently.
For the Spinach & Sunflower Cheese Filling
- In a high-speed blender, combine sunflower seeds, water, lemon, garlic and salt.
- Blend well until smooth. Scrape into a large bowl.
- In a food processor, process the spinach and parsley in batches until chopped but not puréed. Alternately, chop finely by hand. Pour into the bowl with the sunflower cheese.
- Add Italian seasoning and mix well.
For the Herby Tomato Sauce
- To assemble, arrange 4 zucchini noodles horizontally on a cutting board, slightly overlapping one over the next by about ½”.
- Place ¼ cup of the spinach & sunflower cheese filling in the center and spread so that it covers the front to the back and about 1” in width.
- Roll the zucchini from left to right to create a filled manicotti.
- Place two manicotti on a plate and top with ¼ cup of tomato sauce.
- Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of hemp seeds and/or Italian seasoning.