This vegan comfort food dish makes the perfect meal or side

I discovered this dish at a restaurant in New York. (Yes, I love to travel.... and brag about it!) When I returned home, I knew I needed to create my own version of this unique dish. Give it a try: it’ll turn you into a world-class cook in the comfort of your own home.


  • 12 jumbo pasta shells
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 2 sweet potatoes (1 oz), peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1⁄3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon truffle oil (optional)
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • Cashew parmesan, for serving


  1. Cook the pasta shells according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil, then add the onions and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and cashews and keep cooking for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the spinach, vegetable broth, garlic, and maple syrup and keep cooking over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid is fully absorbed and the sweet potato cubes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add more vegetable broth if needed. Remove from the heat.
  5. Add the nutritional yeast, salt, truffle oil (if using), and pepper. Stir to combine. Refrigerate the filling for 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  7. Use a quarter-cup measuring cup to fill each pasta shell with the vegetable filling.
  8. Spread half of the sauce over the bottom of a baking dish. Set the shells side by side on the sauce, then spoon the remaining sauce over.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle with cashew parmesan and serve.

Serves 4 | Prep time: 40 min | Cook time: 1 hour | Rest time: 20 min


The Buddhist Chef’s Vegan Comfort CookingExcerpted from The Buddhist Chef’s Vegan Comfort Cooking. Copyright © 2021 Jean-Philippe Cyr. Photography © 2021 Samuel Joubert and Dominique Lafond. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.