Friday, October 10, 2008


I'm getting over a cold and have just been dragging all week. It's fast approaching dinner time, I have a toddler that is getting grouchier by the minute, and I have no energy for long ingredient lists or lengthy prep times. I also have not visited the grocery all week, so my protein choices would have been some sort of frozen meat (which would have to be thawed in the microwave because I didn't have time to do it slowly, like I prefer) or eggs, or tofu. 

So, I grabbed the TOFU Cookbook for inspiration. And I find a lovely recipe, Rigatoni with Fried Tofu, Roasted Red Peppers and Olives. Sounds easy enough, and it was, except my husband doesn't like olives, and I prefer to use fresh roasted peppers, as opposed to jarred like they use in the recipe. And, while I was at it, I threw in some sweet onion and a yellow squash because I like to sneak in as many vegetables as I can. Oh, and a few eggs. So in the end it was a completely different recipe than the one in the book. This is so typical of me though.  

My altered ingredient list:
serves 4

1 red bell pepper
1/2 sweet onion
1 yellow squash or zucchini 
1 pound rigatoni
16 ounces tofu or 8 eggs or an equal combination  of both
2 TBSP canola oil
3 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 large garlic clove
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

I start by cutting the vegetables, then coating them lightly with oilve oil, add a dash of salt & pepper and roast at 450 for around 30 minutes or until they look like this (below)

I know not everyone is a fan of tofu. That is fine, just use fried egg instead. In my opinion though, I think they taste very similar anyway.  In this recipe, I actually used both fried egg and fried tofu. 

Fry tofu in the canola oil until golden brown and then transfer to a large bowl.

Drizzle the tofu with the soy sauce. Toss well and set aside. In a large pot, bring several quarts of water to a boil and cook the rigatoni. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water for later. 

Dice the roasted vegetables. Saute the chopped garlic in 1 TBSP of the olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the diced vegetables and saute for 2 minutes more. 

Add the 1/2 cup reserved pasta water and stir, then pour over the tofu (which is sitting in that large bowl waiting for it's veggies and pasta!) 

Toss in the cooked pasta and the parmesan and mix. Drizzle with remaining 2 TBSP olive oil.