creamy marinara sauce + kale pasta

Before you look at the first photo and think “what in the…” answer these two questions.

  1. Do you like making dinner in 20 minutes or less?
  2. Do you want a tofu recipe that doesn’t involve pressing or cooking and completely disguises the texture you are scared of?

Yes + yes!

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tofu + marinara sauce + blender = creamy, saucy, goodness

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All you need to do is boil the noodles, cook a little kale in a pan, combine the tofu + sauce in a blender, then combine it all together until heated through.

And what are you left with?

An insanely creamy pasta sauce that is packed with protein, unexpectedly delicious, and very satiating. 

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And did I mention you don’t have to press the tofu?  This is the best part!  Typically when cooking tofu, you need to slice + press the liquid out to achieve a good texture.  It’s not terrible but admittedly a bit of a pain. 

What prompted this recipe?

The other night I was making tortilla pizzas [I use these] and didn’t have much of a topping selection.  I wanted a little protein on top of mine but was out of tempeh and didn’t feel like beans on my pizza.  I also didn’t have the time to press tofu, then cook it, then add it to the tortillas. 

tortilla pizza night = quick, no fuss dinner

For some reason I thought maybe I can make a cream sauce using tofu?

The next thing I know, my spatula is scooping the sauce from the blender [cold] straight into my mouth.  Seriously.  I ate about 1/2c of it before it even touched a tortilla. 

And the very same thing happened today.

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Print this!

Creamy Marinara Sauce + Kale Pasta  [serves ~6-8]

  • 1, 14oz block extra firm tofu, drained
  • 16-20oz* dry pasta [GF quinoa linguine]
  • 1 large head kale, well chopped
  • 3c marinara sauce or a 24oz jar
  • 1/4c grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2t garlic, minced
  • 1t dried oregano
  • 1/4-1/2t salt
  • 1-2t safflower oil
  • black pepper
  • red pepper flakes [opt]
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.  If using GF pasta, make sure to rinse with cold water to help prevent sticking and gumminess.
  2. While cooking add the drained tofu, marinara sauce, parmesan [or 3T nutritional yeast for vegan option], garlic, oregano, 1/4t salt, and black pepper to your blender and turn on.
  3. Stop once creamy and smooth.  Taste and add more seasonings if desired. 
  4. In a large pan add the 1-2t oil over medium heat.
  5. Once hot, add the kale and cook for 2-4min until wilted.
  6. Add the pasta to the pan and as much sauce as desired, then cook until heated through.
  7. Serve immediately or portion into small baking dishes and broil on the top rack with extra cheese on top for 1-3min until bubbly.  Top with red pepper flakes if desired.

notes: *The sauce makes a lot but it also thickens quite a bit when heated.  Using 16-20oz of pasta will most likely leave you with extra sauce.  The sauce should keep for up to 4 days in sealed container in the fridge if you have extra.  I recommend reheating the pasta + sauce together in a pan or pot over med-low heat and adding more sauce or milk to make the mixture creamy again [thickens in the fridge].  I do not recommend reheating in the microwave.  3T nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese for a vegan option.  My favorite tofu is the organic, non-GMO, sprouted tofu by Wildwood

If you have leftover sauce, enjoy it off a spoon or warmed in a pan + poured overtop your veggies.

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Quick dinner options are the best!  Especially when they’re this satisfying. 

Ashley

Update on the photography blog

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