Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pasta with Tofu Red Pepper Sauce

Since I knew I wouldn't have a lot of time to cook when I went back to school, I got a couple of cookbooks to help me prepare quick and healthy meals (The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet & Quick Fix Vegetarian). I don't like agonizing over what recipes to make each week so I'm not too picky when choosing my meals (though recently I haven't been using any recipes because I've had so many exams.) I've found some pretty good recipes for the most part, though some (particular in The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet) were too bland as is so they need to be modified a bit for next time, and some recipes were certainly not quick.

This recipe for pasta with red pepper sauce was one of the recipes that is an interesting idea but needs some additions to make it delicious. It's definitely not your ordinary pasta sauce as it uses silken tofu for its base. Two great things about this sauce are that it's super easy having only 2 ingredients (roasted red peppers and silken tofu, though in the future I will modify it to add more) and that it uses something I need to eat more of (tofu!) I had never thought of using tofu in a pasta sauce before so I was really intrigued. It turned out alright but wasn't super flavourful. I've already started composing a list of things I would add to it next time to make it better, such as: garlic, herbs, more mixed veggies (particularly green onions or sauteed red onions), nuts, parmesan cheese, and pureeing in wilted spinach. The recipe definitely has possibilities and I'm glad I tried it!

Pasta with Red Pepper Sauce
Adapted from The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet

12 ounces whole wheat pasta, any short chunky shape
1 cup frozen green peas
1 tablespoon butter
12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 package firm silken tofu
salt & pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, adding the peas in for the last minute or two to heat them. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Stir in butter to melt.

2. Meanwhile, combine the peppers and tofu in a food processor and process until smoothly pureed.

3. Combine the sauce with the pasta and peas in the pot and stir together. Cook just until the sauce is heated through. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Optional add in ideas: garlic, herbs, more mixed veggies (particularly green onions or sauteed red onions), nuts, parmesan cheese, and pureeing in wilted spinach


Sylvia said...

Wonderful pasta dish, remains me, my mom´s pasta sausage. She usually made this kind of dish in summers. Your pasta looks so fresh and rich

VeggieGirl said...

mmm, that tofu-red pepper sauce looks WONDERFUL, tossed with the pasta and peas - yum!! :0)

By the way, I read your comments on my blog - have you ever seen the LightLife brand of tempeh (or any of their products) at your local grocery or health food store? The products should be available... I do hope so, because I'd like to hear your take on tempeh!! It's a delicious "substitute" for tofu, when you want to switch-up a dish or sandwich or something.

Hannah said...

This is a great idea, thanks for sharing! You can never get enough tofu really, so I'm thrilled to have yet another option of incorporating it into an easy meal. I'm thinking a dash of curry powder might be just the thing to brighten up the flavors a bit... Can't wait to try it!

Deborah said...

Will you think poorly of my if I admit I have never had tofu before??? It's actually never really appealed to me, but this recipe sounds very good (and looks great too!!) I might just have to go out of my comfort zone and try tofu soon!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very interesting and tasty! Yummy! I've never tried that kind of tofu...



Anh said...

Interesting! I would never think of using tofu this way/

katiez said...

I love red pepper and goat cheese sauces! Maybe a bit of chevre would perk this up for you! I like the idea of spinach, too...
I need to find tofu...guess I could start bu finding the French word for it...duh!

eatme_delicious said...

sylvia: Thanks. :)

veggiegirl: I have not heard of the LightLife brand no. Perhaps it's only in the states? I will go searching out tempeh one day, hopefully in the not too distant future!

hannah: Ah yes curry would be a good addition!

deborah: No of course not! I do hope that you'll try it at some point though. :) And that you like it! If you want recommendations for good beginner tofu dishes (beginner as in it's very tasty and people who don't like tofu would like it), let me know.

rosa: Yes it was quite different! :) Thanks.

anh: Me neither so I'm really glad I came across this recipe.

katiez: Hm I'm a bit wary of goat cheese as I find it tastes a bit like blue cheese, but maybe if a small bit was added. Thanks for the suggestion!

Megmee said...

Is it soft silken tofu? How does the firm silken become pureed enough to be sauce like? Anyway I try it for it looks so good.


eatme_delicious said...

Megmee: Yes it's soft silken tofu. It purees well to become a sauce.

Mansi said...

This looks absolutely ravishing Ashley! I'm gonna try this soon, meanwhile, I'd like to invite you to send this in for the Vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe carnival that I'm would be a great addition!:)

texbuck said...

I tried making this last night and it turned out pretty well. I sauteed some garlic and red onion and then mixed in the pasta and sauce.
I enjoy it, but the taste ended up being a bit too salty. I feel like it needs some more tartness to balance it out. I was thinking I would add some crushed tomatoes to when blending the sauce next time. Any spices you think would help?

eatme_delicious said...

texbuck: Too salty? Hmm maybe try rinsing the roasted red peppers first or roasting your own peppers? As for herbs, I think just add whatever your favourite herbs are. Personally I'd probably go for basil and oregano. I'm sure other herbs would work well too though.

Dr. Kathleen Young said...

Just made this today, and I agree a bit bland even though I added some garlic. Probably especially so because I roasted my own red peppers. I love the idea though so I will try it again with some of the additions.

I love your blog and especially the tofu recipes. As a vegetarian I am always in search of new ideas! Yours are consistently good!

eatme_delicious said...

Dr. Kathleen Young: I agree the recipe needs some tweaking but is a great base! Thanks for the kind words about my blog. I'm so happy you love the recipes!

K said...

I made this for dinner last night with some adjustments and it was great!!!

whole jar roasted red peppers, undrained
minced garlic
lemon pepper
Extra olive oil added in food processor

Whole wheat bow-tie pasta
Steamed broccoli
caramelized red onion
toasted walnuts

Thanks for the idea! It really was yummy.