Thursday, May 07, 2009
In inspired kitchen moments, I often throw together ingredients I have on hand to come up with a recipe. The results are sometimes great, sometimes okay, and sometimes downright awful.
I don't share the okay and awful ones with you, but I do like to give you the recipes that I love. Like this Creamy Baked Pasta In A Minty Tofu Sauce.
I had always been a big fan of creamy pastas, despite their deserved reputation of being not so healthy. But I'm not always one to hold back on stuff just because I know it's bad for me. After going vegan I at last found a great excuse to keep me in check.
Still, of course, I keep experimenting with ways to make stuff creamy without cream, and tofu has been a great help. I use it to make a creamy quiche, in my roasted vegetable lasagna, and this time I used it as a sauce to bake some rotelle pasta into melt-in-the-mouth deliciousness.
I am on a mint rush right now, and I put a good handful of mint into the sauce to give it great Spring-y flavor deserving of the sunshine outside my window. And for an added kick, I added some garlic and, hold your breath, some roasted and ground cumin.
I know, I know, it sounds unusual, but the sunny warmth of the cumin is really great with the mint and the tofu. You can, of course, leave it out, but you'd be missing something good.
So here we are, finally, at the recipe. Enjoy yourselves, folks!
Creamy Baked Pasta In A Minty Tofu Sauce
8 ounces of whole-wheat rotelle pasta (you can replace this with ziti or rigatoni or even with elbow macaroni). Cook according to package directions but stop it about a minute or two before it's al dente. This is because it will cook a little more in the oven, and you don't want the pasta to turn ino mush.)
In the last couple of minutes of cooking the pasta, you can toss in some vegetables, like peas or asparagus cut into 1/2-inch bits, or even green beans.
1 package of vaccum-packed silken firm tofu, like Mori-Nu
3/4 cup soymilk
1 packed cup of mint leaves
2 green chillies, like serrano
3 small cloves of garlic
1 tsp roasted, ground cumin
Salt to taste
Put all ingredients except the pasta into a blender and blend until you have a smooth sauce.
Place the cooked rotelle pasta into a square baking dish. Pour the sauce over it, and toss just very slightly so the sauce makes its way through the pasta.
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. (I used my toaster oven which is the perfect size for this). In the last minute you might want to turn the broiler on so the top layer turns golden.
Remove. Garnish with more herbs if you'd like, and serve hot.