Baked Butternut and Tofu Pasta

Vegan Mofo 2010 – Day 9

I’ve sorta thrown my own style of pasta sauce together but the base of the sauce is based on Isa Chandra Moscowitz’s Marinara sauce from her book “Veganomicon”. Isa has so kindly allowed me to use her recipe in this blog. I double up the sauce because you need lots of sauce for the butternut and tofu to soak in. I have tried to make many variations of a tomato based pasta sauce over the years with varying degrees of success and many of them were quite complicated and took ages to cook. Since I bought Veganomicon I only use this marinara sauce because it’s so quick and easy to make, with minimal ingredients and tastes so damn good.

Veganomicon – Isa Chandra Moscowitz and Terry Hope Romero

Buy in South Africa (Kalahari.net)

Buy anywhere else in the world (Amazon.com)

Before starting with the pasta sauce peel a small butternut into ¾ inch size pieces, line a baking tray with a just enough olive to cover the base and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 15 minutes. Then flip over and bake for another seven minutes.

Take 300 grams of your favourite firm tofu(*) slice into long strips about ½ inch thick and place them in a separate tray that has been lined with some olive oil. Similar to the butternut bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 15 minutes. Then flip over and bake for another 10 minutes – it’s important that the tofu is crispy on the outside but not all the way through and dried out.
(*) I used Earth Foods Smoked tofu which is now finally vegan which I’m ecstatic about. (it had honey in it until recently!)

While the butternut and tofu is baking you can prepare the pasta sauce.

2 teaspoons of olive oil
5 – 6 cloves of garlic, mince
2 (400g) tins of crushed tomatoes
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons of dried red chilli powder (optional – if you like a bit of heat)

Preheat as saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the oil and garlic, and sautée for about a minute, until fragrant, being careful not to let it burn. Add the remaining ingredients, cover, and raise the heat a bit to bring to simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Then add the baked butternut and tofu and reduce the heat to low and let it cook for another 5 minutes just enough to allow the tomato sauce to soak into the baked butternut and tofu.
Serve with your favourite pasta dish. I served with organic penne.

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