Tofu Ricotta and Marinara Pasta Bake

I’ll admit it. I had a tough time coming up with that title. Come on, though…what do I call this?

000_1773

BESIDES DELICIOUS?

This is one of the easiest recipe’s you’ll ever make and there’s enough for an army (or for a weeks worth of dinners if you usually cook for one or two). What do you need? Well, to be honest…just some sauce and tofu…okay there’s a few more ingredients than that BUT overall this is one of the smiliest and tastiest recipes you can make.

It also happens to contain some really really really healthy ingredients. The dish is vegan, vegetarian, clean, and can easily be converted to gluten free! You could easily make this a lot healthier if you wanted but let’s not go too crazy here.

The Bake is essentially just three parts:

  1. Tofu Ricotta
  2. Pasta
  3. House Marinara

000_1767

You’ll remember our House Marinara recipe here and you should know how to cook some pasta by now but if not…just read the box! All the directions are there. Although, keep in mind we will be baking this so cook it for about 2/3 of the recommended time on the box. This will ensure your pasta holds up and doesn’t disintegrate to mush. No one wants ricotta and marinara mush. No one.

Once you make all the independent parts, just combine them together, throw them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until everything looks bubbly and delicious and – yup – cheesy.

000_1777

I know, tofu ricotta is not real ricotta. Your right and on its own I wouldn’t eat this with a spoon. However, by mixing it with the marinara and the pasta we get this cheesy like substance that is not just good for us but tastes pretty darn good too.

The secret is in the making of the tofu ricotta. You cannot just use tofu. That won’t work. You have to add a bunch of flavor to it. Tofu is just a blank canvas and you have to paint your tastes right on it. My secret? Miso Paste.

What is miso paste?

5957331426643863

Miso is a paste made from soybeans, sea salt, and koji (a mold starter), and often mixed with rice, barley or other grains. The mixture is allowed to ferment for 3 months to 3 years, which produces an enzyme-rich food. The binding agent zybicolin in miso is effective in detoxifying and eliminating elements that are taken into the body through industrial pollution, radioactivity and artificial chemicals in the soil and food system.

What does this mean for our bodies? Well, Miso contains all the essential amino acids we need, making it a complete protein. It also stimulates digestive fluids, is a great source of probiotics, a great source of B12, strengthens the immune system, lowers LDL’s, and is high in antioxidants.

All of that in your pasta! Who’da thought!

000_1757

If you decide you don’t want to dive headfirst into Miso Paste and Tofu Ricotta, here’s a tip…just use regular Ricotta. It’ll work out just fine! Sprinkle with a heaping helping of Parm and you’ll be good to go!

Download your recipe for the Tofu Ricotta and Marinara Pasta Bake!

 

Advertisements

Toasted Spaghetti Kindonara

I know…two pasta dishes in one week. Here me out…it’s worth it.

I have this thing for Spaghetti Carbonara. Like…a big thing. A few years ago…well more than a few…a friend made this dish for me. It was my first time eating something so good. I ran home to made it myself and was just as satisfied.

Maybe that’s what pushed me to 450 pounds! HA!

I mean…pasta is one of those things that just makes my knees week and mouth water. I get that little ting in the back of my jaw when I taste it. The salty and savory and buttery noodles slipping past my lips and delighting my tastebuds.

Can you tell I’m on a Juice Cleanse? I’m talking about food like we’re dating.

Anyways, this dish right here is a healthier take on Carbonara. What I like to call Kindonara. A healthier spin that is still full of flavor.

000_1721.jpg

Carbonara is essentially an egg, bacon, and cheese sandwich…but in pasta form. My version is more like an egg, onion, and breadcrumb sandwich but in pasta form.

See…Kindonara.

It’s a thing. Jump on the boat.

 

The real winner? Well…the toasted spaghetti. Yup. TOASTED SPAGHETTI. Trust me, you’ll never have pasta the same way again. Toast that stuff in butter, cook it in chicken broth, go to town.

000_1724

So, is this clean and healthy? Technically…yes…but on the real? I wouldn’t go to town on a whole bowl of this by yourself. The recipe feeds 6-8 people, and with over 1/2 stick of butter it could be a bit healthier. This is for those indulgent times where you need a little something to feel comforted. You know? Like a Monday.

Download the recipe for Toasted Spaghetti Kindonara!

 

House Marinara Sauce

Everyone has their own version of Marinara Sauce, right? Growing up I was relegated to eating that horrible red stuff that comes in the glass jar and flavored with simply…MEAT.

What kind of flavor is that anyway? Don’t I want a tomato sauce to taste like…you know…tomatoes? Not…meat? Or a sorry substitute for it?

So, don’t suffer with that sorry excuse for a real marinara sauce when you can whip up my House Marinara in just a few minutes and ingredients.

000_1675.jpg

What sets this Marinara apart from others? Well, apart from how amazing it tastes, there is a secret ingredient. Coconut Sugar.

Did I lose you?

Hear me out. Tomatoes are acidic and therefore you need something a bit sweeter to counteract that acidity. Some use carrots but my Nana always used white sugar. I use to think it was crazy until I realized she was onto something.

Coconut sugar is a great alternative to white sugar. This sugar is actually derived from the coconut palm tree. It was show to contain minerals such as Iron, Zinc, Calcium and Potassium, along with some short chain fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants that may also provide some health benefits. What’s all that mean?

That it is a great alternative to the empty calories of white processed sugar.

AND…a little goes a long way. So, at the very least we are saving on calories, which we all love.

This marinara also contains a powerhouse of flavor that will compliment pasta but not overwhelm it. I also included a recipe for my favorite way to use this sauce up!

Oh…you want another added benefit? This sauce meets the dietary requirements of most people out there! It is vegan, vegetarian, paleo, clean, whole, dairy free, nut free, and gluten free!

Just go make it. You won’t regret it, I promise!

000_1692

House Marinara

1 large Onion, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Coconut Sugar
1 tsp Dried Organo
1 tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 Can (28 ounces) Whole Tomatoes, crushed.
1 Cup Pasta Water

Preparation

Heat oil in a large pan, add onion and garlic and cook until onions are slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle on Sugar, Oregano, Basil, Pepper Flakes, Salt, and Pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add tomatoes and Pasta Water. If you’re making this ahead of time just leave out the pasta water and then add it in when reheating.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, until thick and creamy.

Recipe makes enough for about a pound of pasta.

Print the Recipe for my House Marinara!

Print the Recipe for my Simple Weeknight Pasta!