Rav (corvid) wrote,

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Recipe: Psuedo Italian sauce

We're building a house. This means that my parents come home some nights at about seven o' clock and we need to make _something_ to eat. One night, all we had was some tofu and some leftover mushrooms.

So - I made a fast Italian tomato sauce, using the tofu as the "meat". It was surprisingly good.

Take some extra firm tofu. Crumble it in a pan with some oil, and start it frying. Add some oil, and some red wine. Season with a bit of salt and the usual Italian seasonings (rosemary, basil, etc.). Let that fry while you chop other stuff.

You need about 8 parts tofu to one part mushroom. Chop the mushrooms into a fine dice. When the tofu starts to brown, add the mushrooms. They'll let off some water as they fry. You may need to add more oil. (You could add eggplant, squash, zuchinni, etc. Carrot would be too sweet. Celery has too much flavor.)

Take an onion, and chop it into a medium dice. You want about 3 parts tofu to one part onion, because tofu can be very sweet when it's browned, and the onions can be very sweet. Add that to the pan. You don't want it to brown a lot unless if you don't mind the sweetness.

You want the tofu to be quite brown and dark, but not burned. Now, to finish the dish, you can add a can of diced tomatoes (or about 2 parts tomato to one part tofu) and some more Italian spices. A tablespoon of pesto is nice, but we had none that night. Add as much garlic as you can stand, and serve on pasta. You can let the sauce bubble for a while.

What can you do with this sauce? You could add some cream or other milk like product to it to add some richness and make it a bit more like bolognase sauce. You could probably turn it into a thick soup and serve with garlic bread. You could toss it in a pan, and bake in the oven with cheese on top.

Problems with it - the flavor is a bit flat and not too well rounded. Pesto would have helped since it would add the fresh green taste of basil. You will need a _lot_ of salt to fight the blandness of tofu. Using a bit of broth or broth powder (diabetic warning - beware of the MSG) might also help.

Benefits - it can absorb bland vegetables. It's fairly fast. When you add the wine, it fills the house with a lovely smell. The tofu does look like meat. It reheats well, but I don't advise freezing it.

In other news, the plaster is going up on the inside walls of the house, we've tiled the backsplash, the counters, and some of the appliances came in. The washer and dryer are about two weeks late coming in. Amusingly, after fighting the plaster color for days, we ended up using a paler version of an already packed mix that happened to be the exact color we wanted.

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