Monday, October 24, 2011

Meatless Monday: Tofu Bolognese with Whole Wheat Spaghetti

Tofu Bolognese with Whole Wheat Spaghetti

This is a dish that my mother used to make us when we were kids, and she was still a vegetarian. It had generous hunks of tofu in it, and yes, we loved it.

Kids love anything with noodles as a general rule. Even tofu, when it's seasoned well so it actually tastes like something yummy. This recipe essentially substitutes the meat usually found in  bolognese sauce with firm tofu. The tofu is simmered in the tomato sauce, which infuses it with great flavor. It literally sucks it up.

I serve the sauce over a whole wheat spaghetti, but any type of pasta would work great. To finish it, I top it with a little parmesan reggiano cheese, but that's not necessary. The dairy-free version (vegan) is delicious, too.

I also much prefer to use tofu in my sauce, rather than a meat-like substitute vegetable protein (which tends to be very processed).

Finally, for a super shortcut easy version of this recipe, toss bottled organic tomato sauce into a slow-cooker. Add tofu. Simmer on low for several hours. It's delicious.

Tofu Bolognese with Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Serves 4-6 people
Cooking time: about 40 minutes
Vegan (meat and dairy-free)
Print Recipe

  • 1 package (14 oz.) firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 28 ounce can of tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parley, chopped
  • pinch of chili flakes (optional)
  • parmesan reggiano cheese, for grating (optional)
  • 1 package (1 lb) whole wheat spaghetti, cooked and drained

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.  
  2. Add the onion and carrots and saute until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.  
  3. Then, add the garlic and chili flakes (optional) and saute for another minute. 
  4. Finally, add the tomatoes, bay leaf, and tofu. Partially cover the pot and allow the sauce to simmer for about 35-40 minutes.  
  5. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. 
  6. To serve, place the pasta in a bowl and top with a generous portion of the  sauce. Finish with chopped parsley, freshly ground pepper, and a little grated parmesan reggiano cheese if desired. Enjoy!

Source for Ingredients
  • onions, carrots, garlic, and bay leaf from West Hollywood Farmers Market
  • organic firm tofu, organic canned tomatoes, organic whole wheat spaghetti, parmesan reggiano cheese, and extra virgin olive oil from Trader Joe's
  • organic chili flakes from Whole Foods

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