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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free

 

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Thursday
Apr262012

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!

tofupasta (1 of 6)

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

tofupasta (2 of 6)

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. 

tofupasta (3 of 6)

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.

tofupasta (4 of 6) 

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.

tofupasta (6 of 6)

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

Ashley

Update on the photography blog

tofupasta (2 of 18)

Reader Comments (31)

That is so genius! Definitely trying this!
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnu
Do you think silken tofu would work just as well?

Ashley--> I know people use silken in desserts. I'm sure it would work, the sauce just may not be as thick. Let me know if you try it! I've never used silken before.
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
ahhhhh! i love this recipe! thinking sunday night dinner?

Ashley--> Yes! Comforting + filling, but quick so you can still enjoy the night! :)
Mmmm, this looks good and so simple...just my kind of thing!!
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjo @ includingcake
I love a quick dinner recipe that doesn't dirty too many dishes. I need to add more to my repertoire. Thanks!
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKale Crusaders
This. is. awesome.
OMG!!!! This is one of those recipes that begs the question..... "WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT??!!??" I'm SO making this today...... I, for some reason, have an ample supply of tofu, marinara sauce and spaghetti squash!!! YUUUUMMMM!! DINNER! I'm psyched!!!

Ashley--> I totally know what you mean! This would be delicious on spaghetti squash!
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertrisha
Brilliant. Can't wait to try this!
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKath
This looks so simple and delicious..satisfying..yum!!
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLizAshlee
This is an awesome idea! I might try that out with soba noodles for an even bigger protein punch. Having turned tofu into a pb "cookie dough" dip the other day and being floored at how good it actually tasted, I can totally imagine how this would work. It's like a creamy vodka sauce without the cream (and vodka ;))

Ashley--> Love soba noodles! Great idea! mmmm cookie dough
Yum yum yum! At first I admit, I did think 'what the what!?' But you've convinced me!
LOVE this idea. So simple but looks so incredibly satisfying!
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCait's Plate
We make pizza on Friday nights for that very reason - quick and no fuss!
I DID look at that photo and think "what the...?" BUT- if you say it's good, I'll have to try it! Really, in my opinion, you can't go wrong with marinara. I put it on everything.

Ashley--> hahaha :)
Wow, this looks so delicious! I have been looking for alternatives to "creamy" dishes without using dairy. I will totally be making this! Thanks so much
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ Sailing Foodie
I love this idea!!! What a great way to add protein to a pasta dish. I can't wait to try it!
I am so glad you have posted this recipe, my husband suggested that we make our own marinara sauce since he is really into it now, so i will give it a try, yours sounds really good!

Ashley--> Thanks! Hope you both like it!
Definitely an amazing idea to get that protein into pasta sauce! We usually go for the chickpeas to pack protein into pasta, but I think I like your idea even better, especially for red sauce.

Ashley--> Hope you enjoy!
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEileen
Ok... So I already made the sauce...DELISH!! I did not have marinara so I used Pomi chopped tomatoes and added a bit more seasoning. Came out awesome! Can't wait for dinner!

Ashley--> You are awesome!! I love those Pomi tomatoes. Great job!
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrisha
I could eat this every day!
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaria
You can't go wrong with creamy. I always say I don't like tomato sauce, but seriously...this looks dang good.
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
do you think i could use tomato paste +water to blend with the tofu?

Ashley--> It may work, but wouldn't be ideal and I have no idea how much you would need of each. Since the marinara sauce already has a lot of seasonings, you would need to add quite a bit more [garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, etc.] if you use the tomato paste. Let me know if you give it a go!
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercolleen
brilliant! i'm not a fan of the tofu texture at all, but totally dig it's protein capabilities, you pretty much just solved a huge problem in my life. thanks. :)
What a great idea! This looks like the perfect quick dinner. I can't wait to make it!
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKerry
Looks so good and easy! I'll have to give it a try!
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternellie
I've made pasta cheese sauces with tofu before, but I've never thought to add tofu to marinara! Another great tactic to get my pasta-loving, protein-disliking son to get some dang protein! Chopping the kale into small pieces is a great idea too. I love this--such beautiful photos, Ashley!
This looks delicious and so creamy and satisfying! I bet I could even get my tofu-averse fiance to eat this if I don't tell him what is in it first!
April 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSonya
I found your site on another blog and just wanted to let you know that I have subscribed to your feed and can't wait to see what your next creation will be!
April 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCJ at Food Stories
Okay, this had nothing to do with the post, but more to do with the page. I laughed when, while scrolling down, the mouse came to stop on the pic from the photography blog, and the mouse hover text was "Tofupasta (2 of 18)". As a related note, all the images are acting like links that make my browser download some extensionless file.
April 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharles
I love pasta and I like how the ingredients are healthy. Thanks for sharing!

Ashley--> You're welcome!! Thank you too!
April 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLP @dishclips
Just made this for dinner and it was divine! Didn't tell my boyfriend there was tofu in it (he's not adverse to tofu, but he wouldn't have been to keen on dinner if he knew) and we both loved it.

Any advice on storage? Not sure if this can be frozen, but I don't think I'll use it all up in the next few days.


Ashley--> SO happy to hear this! I'm kind of addicted to that sauce. As far as storage goes, it's probably fine for up to 5 days in a sealed container in the fridge. If you do want to try freezing it, I would put it in a freezer bag and make sure all the air is squeezed out. I wouldn't keep it in the freezer for more than a few weeks to prevent freezer burn. With the water that's in tofu + tomato sauce it's probably more susceptible to it. Then, either defrost in the fridge or empty in a sauce pan over med-low until simmering and hot.
I made it this morning and will eat tonight! You are right; it's delicious cold! What a wonderful way to incorporate tofu into a meal!

Ashley--> I hope you loved it for dinner!!
July 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternichole

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