I probably can't take credit for the originality of this recipe; there are several similar ones online. But, after browsing 50+ baked tofu ziti recipes, none are prepared quite the same as mine.
Thus was born: Omnivore's Delight, a Baked Spinach Tofu Ziti. Most recipes I found called for pureed or mashed tofu with egg whites or lemon juice- an attempt at a ricotta. In mine, I press and dice the tofu into small cubes:
and proceed to gather the usual suspects:
Sockarooni marinara sauce, olive oil spray, black pepper, crushed red, italian seasonings, and garlic powder.
The sauce is oh so important here! Newman's Own Sockarooni is one of my favorites, and so is Emeril's Kicked Up Marinara.
Boil a pot of water and add 4 servings of ziti. A serving of the pasta I used was 2/3 cup. Heat a large skillet to medium/medium high and spray with olive oil. Add the tofu, and spices to taste. I love lots of crushed red and italian seasoning. Stir it frequently and brown it until it looks like this:
There should be no moisture in the pan.
The pasta and tofu should cook in a similar amount of time- about 10 minutes. While I'm doing that I also thaw 4 cups of frozen spinach in the microwave. It makes about 2 cups of cooked spinach. You are a multi-tasking diva at this point!
Preheat the oven to 375*
Put a enough sauce in the bottom of a baking pan (9X9) to cover it:
Love those Sockarooni chunks of veg!
Add the pasta, followed by the spinach, tofu, the rest of the jar of sauce, and half a cup of shredded cheese (optional). I used Kraft Fat Free Shredded Mozzarella- it was was the first time I'd seen it and Raine and I wondered how it would be.
Stir up very well!
Sprinkle with an additional 1/2 cup cheese (optional):
Bake for 10-15 minutes on the middle rack in the oven. The pasta, tofu, and spinach was already hot, so really you are just making sure that this is heated through and melting the cheese...
This is a filling, satisfying dish! The tofu is TLF- To Live For! And most importantly, it is a crowd-pleaser :)
Omnivore's Delight: Baked Spinach Tofu Ziti
1 package extra-firm tofu, pressed to reduce moisture
4 cups frozen spinach, or 2 cups cooked
4 servings ziti noodles (or any other pasta- penne, etc)
1 jar sauce (make it a good one!)
1 cup shredded Mozzarella (optional)
Olive Oil Spray
Crushed Red Pepper
Directions: Dice the tofu and add to a heated skillet that has been sprayed with olive oil. Add all spices to taste (I love mine spicy). While the tofu is cooking, cook noodles according to directions and defrost spinach in microwave.
Preheat oven to 375*
Add some sauce to the bottom of a 9X9 baking pan. Add pasta, then add spinach, tofu, the rest of the sauce, and 1/2 cup cheese (optional). Stir it well then sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, if you wish. Bake for 10-15 minutes- until ingredients are heated through and cheese has melted.
This meal is really great- perfect to make a meal for a large family, potluck, or to have lots of leftovers for 2 people! And, it's great for an omnivore transitioning to vegetarianism!
What dishes can you think of that might be good for a person in transition from omnivore to vegetarian?