Rigatoni with Herbed Tofu in Red Sauce

14 Sep

My parents have been married for 33 years this Friday, and I’d like to dedicate this blog to them.  Through their marriage they have taught me how to treat others with kindness and gratitude, among many other things.

Everyone has their own philosophy on love, but I believe my dad summed it up very nicely during his memorable toast at my engagement party last year.

With scotch in his right hand and a smile on his face, my dad told my group of close friends and family that when he met my mom he found not only his true love, but his best friend.  In my dad’s eyes, being one another’s best friend has attributed to their successful marriage.  I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s talking about after 33 years.

My mom told me that when she first married my dad she was a horrible cook.  I don’t believe her for one second because she makes the best food I’ve ever eaten, hands down.  I know several dozen people (maybe even more) who would agree.

How do you live up to one of the greatest chefs in your lifetime?  Well I don’t have the answer to that, nor do I plan on ever knowing it, but in the meantime I’ll continue to learn from my mom and share it in this blog.

A few years ago when I was still eating meat, my mom gave me an amazing chicken recipe.  It was my husband’s favorite dish.  Now that we’re both vegetarians, I substitute the chicken with tofu and add some more ingredients to give it the same robust flavor as my mom’s original recipe.  Rigatoni with Herbed Tofu in Red Sauce is what I came up with…enjoy!


  • 1 lb Rigatoni pasta
  • 3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 14 oz. block of extra firm tofu
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium squash
  • 8 oz. whole baby portabella mushrooms
  • 2 large pieces of jarred roasted red peppers
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans of no salt added diced tomatoes
  • Dried herbs to taste: Italian seasoning, basil, parsley
  • Spice to taste: paprika and crushed red pepper
  • (Soy) Parmesan cheese (optional)


First you dice the onion and slice the garlic:

Then drain and cut the extra firm tofu in 1 inch strips.  Heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat and place tofu in the pan, stirring occasionally:

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a separate pan and sauté the chopped up onion and garlic for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent:

Meanwhile dice the squash and zucchini:

And add the squash and zucchini to the onion and garlic; sauté until squash and zucchini are slightly tender, around 5 minutes:

Remove stems from mushrooms, dice mushroom caps into four pieces and cut the mushroom stems into pieces (remove tough parts from the stems):

Slice roasted red pepper pieces:

Add mushrooms and roasted peppers to the vegetable mixture and sauté for about 3 minutes:

Meanwhile start boiling the water; cook pasta as instructed on the box:

Add the cans of diced tomatoes, herbs and spices to the veggie mixture and simmer to blend the flavors together:

Continue stirring and flipping the tofu until all sides are slightly golden brown; add 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar and herbs and continue to sauté between 5-10 minutes (depending on the desired firmness of the tofu) and remove from heat:

Add the tofu to the vegetable sauce:

Serve over cooked pasta and top with grated (soy) parmesan cheese:

Serve with side salads and your meal is complete:


2 Responses to “Rigatoni with Herbed Tofu in Red Sauce”

  1. Omar Zechiel September 29, 2011 at 2:51 am #

    This really answered my downside, thanks!

  2. Joan Leyton September 15, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    That dish looks amazing and you are so sweet to be thinking of us on our 33rd anniversary.
    They say good things come in pairs and we have a pair of “3’s” this year.

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