Thursday, January 7, 2010

Casarecce Pasta with Tofu Marinara Sauce

Well, today was my birthday, so I thought I'd give you a small snapshot of the day. First of all, my family completely surprised me with a new camera, and these are the very first pictures with it (including some that aren't posted). Anyhow, we went downtown to have a precious photo restored, and while we were there, we went to our favorite Ethiopian restaurant for a birthday lunch. When we came home, we went for a walk, and the family dog joined us as usual. I made a pasta dish for dinner, and my children pitched in to make me a cake. My nine-year old daughter basically made the whole cake with my supervision. She wants you to know that she is the one that wanted a double-layer cake. I picked chocolate with chocolate frosting; I wanted chocolate chips, as well, but we were out. My three-year old son helped big sister by pouring the soy milk into the mixing bowl, and my twelve-year old daughter created a specific design with the candles. I liked the pasta dish, but in the recipe directions I've made some notes as to some possible variations. I hope you like the pictures and the recipe!

Casarecce Pasta with Tofu Marinara Sauce

My birthday Ethiopian lunch (salad is out of frame)

Earl (with the two youngest blessings behind him) on our walk

My birthday cake!

Casarecce Pasta with Tofu Marinara Sauce


1 Tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 pkg. of extra firm tofu, drained
3 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
1 can of black olives, 1/2 of the olives chopped fine and 1/2 kept whole
1 4oz. can of diced mild green chiles
2 carrots, grated
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. fennel seed
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 pkg. of Casarecce pasta (or other medium pasta)


In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until translucent, about ten minutes. Break up the tofu into large squares in the pot, and mash with a potato masher. Cook for another ten minutes, until tofu begins to really blend in with the onion and garlic. Add the rest of the ingredients. When it comes to a boil, lower heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Ladle the sauce out over individual portions. We served this with a big green salad. My children have an aversion to chunky sauces or salsas, so I blended some sauce for them, and it tasted just fine. That actually gave me an idea for a future sauce recipe. I made this particularly mild, so it would be appealing for my children, but you can spice it up if you wish. Red pepper flakes or more fennel seed or salt would be tasty. Also, you can omit one can of diced tomatoes and add tomato sauce for less chunks or tomato paste to thicken it. Feeds five hungry vegans.


  1. Blessed Mama,

    Happy Birthday! Congrats on the new camera.

    I would have never thought to put tofu in marinara sauce. Thanks for sharing the idea. I will definitely be giving that a try.

    Your kids did a beautiful job on the cake.

    talk to you later,

  2. Happy belated birthday to you! Hearing about your lovely day fills me with warm fuzzies :) What a great fam you have.

  3. Thank you, ladies! We had fun. And you can see, I truly am a Blessed Mama! :)

    Alicia, let me know what you come up with in the tofu dept.

  4. Blessed Mama,

    Your post made we wonder if I can somehow make "meat balls" out of crumbled tofu. That is what is in my head at the moment. We will see what it becomes ultimately.


  5. Yes, I've made something similar by mixing tofu with TVP and herbs and breadcrumbs. Let me know what you come up with.

  6. Blessed Mama,

    Thanks for letting me know what you tried. I was thinking something along those lines. :) Sounds like something that would be good in a Healthy Cooking Challenge. ;)

    talk to you soon,

  7. Happy Birthday,

    From the look of things, you had a great day...all the food looks delicious.

    Earl is adorable.

    Many happy returns!

  8. Alicia - aahh, the pressure!! Healthy meatballs!

    Rose, Thank you, we did have a great day and enjoyed all the food. And, we love Earl! He's a very old man now.

  9. Your pasta looks delicious. And so does the Ethiopian! I have to get some soon. Your doggy is very cute too. Glad you had a great birthday with your family.

  10. Thanks, Lisa. It was a great day.

  11. Oh, it sounds like you had a wonderful birthday! That chocolate cake sure looks delicious... now I want to bake a cake!

    I also wanted to Thank You for putting my blog link in your sidebar. That means a lot to me & I appreciate that!

    Blessings to you,
    ~ Tarissa

  12. Hi, Tarissa. I did have a great day, thanks. My pleasure putting in a link - you have a unique blog, so I wanted to hightlight it. Blessings to you, as well.

  13. Happy Birthday, Blessed Mama! Congrats on the new camera! All your birthday food looks oh so amazing and WOW your kids did such a great job on the birthday cake!