Silken Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo

Whoa, what a bad-ass title for my first post.

So I am discovering that I a firm (no pun intended) proponent of silken tofu because of its versatility. I’ll doubtlessly experiment with it in things like liquid-meal replacements and pies (yes, pies), but for now I’ll stick with the alfredo sauce. Here’s what you’ll need:

1 box Pasta Barilla Plus, like farfalle or penne (I can’t find linguine in this brand.)

1 spaghetti squash

1 lb Silken Tofu

1/2-cup  skim milk

2-3 oz fat free mozzarella cheese

2-3 tbs gouda

6 sun-dried tomatoes

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tsp. hot sauce

4 dashes hot pepper flakes

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp oregano

1-2 tsp basil

salt & pepper to taste (probably a fair amount of the latter)

Makes 4-5 servings

First, prepare the spaghetti squash. My preferred (and only) method is to cut it in half long ways and place it in a microwave-safe dish deep enough to hold the halved squash in one-inch of water. Cover and steam it in the microwave for 20-25mins, or until tender. I recommend stabbing it with a fork to check its doneness, like you do with steamed broccoli. While the squash is going, boil the pasta. I think you have this taken care of; if not, just follow the directions in the box or, better yet, get out of the kitchen before you hurt someone.

Now it’s time for the sauce. Add the milk, tofu, cheeses, seasonings, hot sauce, and sun-dried tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Next, toast the garlic in the oil over medium-high heat, about 3-4mins. Remove as soon as it browns and pour the mix, oil and garlic, into the blender or food processor along with the other ingredients. Mix then liquefy until everything combines and thickens. It should be very viscous but still able to flow (you know, like alfredo).

By this time the squash should be more-or-less done steaming. Take it out and CAREFULLY—it’s hotter than hell—remove it from the dish. Scoop out all of the seeds and, with a fork, scrape the insides out; you should see it begin to detach from the shell in strings. You can go all the way down to the shell. (I recommend checking out Google Images for pictures of this since, while simple, it makes a lot more sense visually. I promise to have more pictures in the future.)

After straining the pasta (duh), add the spaghetti squash scrapings and pour the sauce over the whole mix. Don’t worry about whether or not the sauce is cold—the spaghetti and squash will heat it up perfectly. Now stir the mother and serve.

The magic of the silken tofu is that it eliminates the need for overly fatty cream while still lending protein and nutrients. Indeed, with the cheeses involved this meal provides a pretty good nutritional profile in terms of carbs, fats, and proteins. Anyway, nutritional nerd stuff aside, I would (and will) definitely make this again. I love the mix of spice and earthy flavors in a creamy sauce. I wish I had more–I’d love to use it as a spread over a tomato sandwich.

Non-Veg Friendly Factor: 4.5. This is basically an everyday alfredo sauce; it loses 1/2-point because of the squash, which was added to get in more veg. Also, the reason there are so many spices is to mask the, albeit subtle, taste of the tofu, which they do wonderfully.

This recipe originally called for parmeean cheese, which apparently is made with rennet, gotten from extracted animal stomachs. Shit. So I changed the recipe a bit from the original version, substituting gouda for parmesan and changing out the part-skin mozzarella for fat free mozzarella to compensate for the jump in fat with the gouda. If you check out the link, you’ll find out why I’m REALLY heartbroken; I’ll miss you, Guinness.

UPDATE: Check out the above retraction’s retraction at Mushroom’s Cream Soup. Consider ‘Parmesan’ back on the menu!

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rob Wakeman on September 22, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Looks great, Barry! Can’t wait to try it out (with a vegan twist). I also love silken tofu blended with lemon, spices, lots of pepper and spinach as a ricotta filling. I made a big plate of lasagna on Sunday and I’ve been eating it all week.

    My other favorite “alfredo” is from Veganomicon and it’s basically one part hummus and one part veggie stock blended together. It has a really delicious creamy flavor, but it loses the alfredo texture after a day.

    Welcome to the veggie club!

    Rob

    Reply

  2. Barry! This sound delicious, I might have to try it out! Good job! 🙂

    Reply

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