Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sneaky Tofu

I let him take the first bite.

"How is it," I asked.

"Very good!!" he replied, mouth full.

"Rock on," I thought. "I'm glad you said that," I said.

He paused the TV and looked at me. I explained that rather than use ricotta, like most filled pastas, I'd used tofu. I promised that the recipe actually called for tofu, because there is absolutely no way I would ever thought to do it on my own.

I admit, I had reservations. I watched the whole mess come together and I was nervous. Sure, he was in the very same kitchen with me when I popped the tofu into the food processor (he is a mostly oblivious type), but would it be good? I'm so pleased with it, I'm actually looking forward to tomorrow night's leftovers. I might not yet be wondering what else I can slip tofu into, but its a start!

While I'm at it, I think I'll submit this for this week's Presto Pasta Night. I'm either really really early, or super-late. I'll let Ruth decide. :)

Baked Stuffed Shells

1/4 cup boiling water
6 sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (14-ounce) package reduced-fat firm tofu
1 egg, lightly beaten
18 cooked jumbo pasta shells
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ¾ cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (about 1 medium)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
3 garlic cloves, minced
Cooking spray
¾ pound low-fat turkey breakfast sausage, casings removed
¼ cup red wine
2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt 1 (28-ounce) can organic crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons grated fresh
Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare stuffing, combine 1/4 cup boiling water and sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl; let stand 20 minutes or until tomatoes soften. Drain and finely chop. Combine tomatoes, mozzarella, and next 6 ingredients (through egg) in a food processor; process until smooth. Spoon 2 tablespoons stuffing into each shell. Set stuffed shells aside.

To prepare sauce, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic; sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Place onion mixture in a bowl.

Coat pan with cooking spray; return pan to heat. Add sausage, and cook 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add wine; cook until wine is reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 3 minutes). Stir in onion mixture, tomato paste, and next 5 ingredients (through tomatoes); bring to a simmer. Cook 25 minutes or until slightly thick.

Spread 2 cups sauce over bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer in pan; top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan over sauce. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until bubbly. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 3 stuffed shells and about 1 cup sauce)


Ruth Daniels said...

Katie, it looks delicious and a great way to "hide" tofu from the uninitiated.

You're first in for Presto Pasta Night #10. So glad you're sharing this.

Tara said...

Hi Katie,

This looks really good, although I have no reservations about tofu as I used to be a vegetarian so it featured regularly for me. I'll have to give this one a try because it just looks delicious.

Since you are wondering what else you could slip tofu into, I thought you might like to try the chocolate mousse I just posted about... it has another little suprise as well, but I won't tell you what it is for fear of you not even looking at the recipe! (don't worry the post tells you what it is)

Enjoying your blog so far :)

sher said...

Thank you!! How clever. My husband loathes tofu (as long as he knows he's eating it). I will fix this and he will never know--and I know he'll love it!