Tangy Tofu Pasta

April 9th, 2008

It's pink!  It's pasta!  It's tangy tofu pasta!!!  :D

It’s pasta and it’s pink! What could be better? I’ll be the first to admit that I was worried this wouldn’t work. (Take a look at the ingredient list, and you can get worried too!) Somehow though, in the back of my head, something was telling me that yes, that was a good, workable combination, and it would taste great. And it did :D There’s a succession of flavours that works really nicely, I thought :) Tomato, followed by tangy lemon, then semi-sweet coconut milk. Mmm!

Ingredients

  • 10 lumaconi
  • 125g silken tofu
  • juice of a medium-sized lemon
  • juice of a small lime
  • half a medium-sized onion (about 60g)
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 100ml light coconut milk
  • 200g can of tomato pulp
  • 2 tbsp soy besciamella
  • 1/4 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ground white pepper

Lumaconi

I’ve used lumaconi as the pasta to stuff, but if you can’t find any, any other stuffing pasta will work – large shells, cannelloni, etc.

The first thing to do is juice the lemon and lime, and pour the juice into a bowl. Cut the silken tofu into small cubes or narrow strips, and place it into the juice. Put it in the fridge and leave it to marinade for two to three hours.

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Place a pan of salted water over a high heat, this is for the pasta. Once it boils, add the lumaconi, and boil them for 10 minutes. Refresh them under cold water immediately after their cooking time.

Chop the onion into small squares. Grate the garlic clove. Put the oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and add the onion. Sauté for 2 minutes, making sure the onion doesn’t brown (if it does, reduce the heat), then add the garlic, and sauté for a further 30 seconds. Throw in the coconut milk, season generously with ground white pepper, and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the heat slightly, and leave it to reduce for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, and leave it to cool down.

Get your tofu/juice marinade out of the fridge, and pour out half of the liquid. Using a fork, mash up the tofu. If it is still rather liquidy after mashing it up, tip some more liquid out of the bowl.

Once the onion and coconut milk mix has cooled, mix it in with the mashed tofu. Taste it and if you’d like, add more ground white pepper.

Place the tomato pulp into a pan, and add the basil. As soon as it starts to boil, turn off the heat. Add the soy besciamella, and stir it in to give a nice pink colour. Turn off the heat, and cover the pan.

Prepare an oven-proof dish. Use a spoon to fill the lumaconi, then arrange them in the dish. It doesn’t matter if they don’t sit upright, laying them on their side won’t make the filling fall out. Pour the tomato and besciamella sauce over the pasta, and place the dish in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

Gently place the pasta onto a plate, drizzling over any remaining sauce.

This serves one, with about 580 calories in a serving.

Chunky Carrot and Leek Soup

April 7th, 2008

It's carroty and leeky and herby!

I love soups. They’re easy to make, very filling, and nice and warming. Sure, Spring is pretty much here, but I’ve had a sleepless night, and need some comfort food! Actually, part of why I couldn’t sleep is because I was plotting this very soup last night. It was very much worth it!

Ingredients

  • 500ml water and some extra for leeks
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 125g frozen baby carrots
  • 1 medium leek (approx 85g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • (vegan) sour cream or soy milk

I specified on frozen baby carrots because being frozen, they’d be easier to mash. You know how horribly mushy frozen vegetables tend to become? That’s perfect for this recipe!

Pour the water into a saucepan, and crumble in the 2 vegetable stock cubes. Put it over a high heat. Throw in the baby carrots, and bring it to the boil. Simmer it for a good few minutes, until the carrots are softened.

Meanwhile, cut the leek in half vertically, then chop it up into small semi-circles, about 1/4″ in width. Place them in a small saucepan or frying pan, and add the herbs. Put about a tablespoon of water in the pan (eyeball it), and turn the heat on to high.

Keep an eye on the leeks, stirring frequently. If they begin to stick, add a bit more water. If they begin to brown, reduce the heat a bit. While the leeks are cooking, get a potato masher and mash up the carrots.

Mash them up until you get a chunky soup, with fairly small pieces of carrots. Basically, just mash them until they won’t get any smaller.

By this time the leeks should be just about ready – they should be softened and will have reduced.

Once the leeks are at that stage, add them to the carrot mash, and mix everything up, letting it simmer for a minute.

Your soup is ready! Well, almost :) Pour it into serving plates, adding 3 dollops of sour cream, or a splash of soy milk, to each plate.

Swirl the sour cream or soy milk around the dish before you dig in!

This serves 2, with 60kcal per serving, not including the sour cream or soy milk.