Thursday, August 28, 2008

Spaghetti and Giant Stuffed Baked Tofu Balls

Yes, that's right. The old tofu ball recipe, updated for 2008. Can I just say: These are phenomenal. And if you make them, you will totally impress anyone you serve them to, as they make for a most attractive and aromatic dish.

3 slices stale whole wheat bread
1 C milk
1 package extra firm tofu
1 large egg
1/2 C bread crumbs
3 large mushrooms, finely chopped
3 scallions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely shredded
1/2 C grated parmigiano
splash or 2 of soy sauce
splash of cidar vinegar
salt and pepper
handful fresh parsley, chopped
8 1" cubes of feta cheese
8 baby fresh mozzerella balls
extra virgin olive oil
whole wheat spaghetti
1 can whole tomatoes, crushed
1 C pesto
salt and pepper
grated parmigiano for garnish

In a shallow bowl, pour milk over torn up bread and let soak until evenly saturated (you may have to stir occasionally). Meanwhile, drain excess water from block of tofu and crumble into a large bowl. To the tofu, add the egg, bread crumbs, mushrooms, scallions, garlic, parmigiano, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper, and parsley. Squeeze most of the milk from the bread and add bread to the tofu mixture. Using your hands, squish all ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Mold tofu into a giant disk and then divide into 8 even sections.

To form the balls: Take each section and form into a patty (it should resemble a burger). Place a feta cube or mozzerella ball (depending on your mood!) in the center of the patty, and then curl the sides up around the cheese and smooth into an even round shape. Space the eight balls evenly on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a hot oven (425 degrees) for about 20-25 minutes. (Optional: at the end of the baking time I popped my tray under the broiler for three minutes to get the tops nice and browned...lovely!)

While tofu balls are baking: Cook your spaghetti in salted boiling water for the time specified on the package. Drain and toss with a bit of olive oil to prevent noodles from sticking together. In a skillet over medium heat, simmer the crushed tomatoes with a bit of salt and pepper until fluid is significantly reduced. Just before serving, remove tomatoes from heat and stir in pesto (you can use pesto from a can, or feel free to make your own!!). Serve each plate with a pile of spaghetti, a whole bunch of delicious basil-tomato sauce, and two giant stuffed balls balanced on top. Sprinkle with parmigiano.


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