Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tofu Rigatoni Casserole

I understand that not everyone is vegetarian or even really all that concerned about what they ear. But I'm both and I would really encourage everyone to at least watch what you eat! It really can make all the difference in your daily life, why not start by trying that new(er) idea: Meatless Mondays. As Americans, and much of the human race in general, we eat way more meat than we need to in a day, and in addition to not eating nearly enough greens, fruits and other vegetables, our health is suffering because of it. So, I'm going to put this up as a healthy Meatless Monday option. Word on the street is that even kids find this yummy!

These are nearly all the ingredients that you will be using, shown in the above picture. All the ingredients are listed below:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 pinch dried oregano
1 (12 to 14-oz) package firm tofu, drained (don't let this scare you, tofu is a friend, not scary!)
1 large egg
1 pinch grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 (10-oz) package spinach (I did not use all the spinach! You can if you want, or you can use most of it, like 8 oz, then the rest for lunch)
1 (1-lb) bag rigatoni, cooked al dente and drained (Barilla Plus is good, otherwise whatever you have)
1 lb fresh mozzarella, grated (about 4 cups)
3 oz grated Parmesan (about 3/4 cup)

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. You might also want to start your pasta at this point (follow the directions on the package for that.
2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-heat. Add the onion. Saute for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes more.
3. Add the tomatoes and oregano. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a blender, process the tofu, egg, nutmeg, salt, and pepper until smooth.

4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in the spinach, cooked rigatoni, tomato sauce, 1 cup of mozzarella, and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan.
5. Drizzle a coating of olive oil into a 13x9-inch baking pan. Add the pasta mixture and sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the top. Bake until golden and bubbling, 35-40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe was adapted from Epicurious.com and the kitchen of a coworker of mine. I also want to put in two notes here:
1. This really is very good. My entire family loved it (and they are cautious about tofu and spinach!).
2. I am working on getting a new camera, thinking of getting either a digital camera or a digital handheld video camera with a built-in. Suggestions?!

Thanks for reading!
Sara :)

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