Simple meals, with the holidays and all, are the name of the game.
This is the time of year when pasta is on the menu almost every other day. The days are short, and the nights are long and cold. It’s the coziest time of year, and around here that means plenty of pasta. The last few days have been bitter cold with blistering wind and snow. It’s pretty much the scene out of a classic Christmas movie, and I love it. Well… maybe if it were a little warmer.
And pasta is quick and cheap, so you know it is going down! Because mama needs presents.
I cannot believe I have yet to share this recipe until now! It was one of those recipes in college I always turned to when I did not know what to make. I was never a fan of jarred pasta sauce, so this seemed like the perfect alternative. Plus my favorite bodega never had pasta sauce, but always had cherry tomatoes?
This is the only recipe where I give you total permission to buy cherry tomatoes out of season (except maybe for this recipe also). Even though they are not quite as sweet, they still totally make the dish. I toss them with a ton of olive oil and garlic and they get nice and saucy.
Then, simply toss them with your favorite chickpea pasta, handfuls of arugula, and serve with dollops of ricotta. I was inspired by my girl Erin Lives Whole to serve this dish up with tofu ricotta which, I kid you not, tastes pretty darn close to the real thing. I tweaked the recipe a bit and it just gives a total upgrade. You will just need a food processor and 10 seconds (not even joking) to whip this baby into high gear! (this is the one I have). Spread the leftovers on toast or dollop on salad for the ultimate treat.
This pasta is so perfectly quick, cheap, and feels like a total upgrade. It makes me want to break out into Beyonce’s Upgrade U… except I really did not need an excuse to do that.
5 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
15 minTotal Time
- 2 medium lemons, juiced
- 1 12-ounce block extra-firm tofu (drained and pressed dry for 10 minutes)
- 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon miso
- 1/2 cup fresh basil (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 3-4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ~1/2 tsp each salt + pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 small shallots, (or half large red onion) finely chopped
- 1 pint mixed red and yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 box of your favorite pasta
- 2 cups loosely packed, fresh arugula
- Salt and pepper
add all tofu filling ingredients to a food process or blender and pulse to combine, scraping down sides as needed. You are looking for a semi-pureed mixture with bits of basil still intact. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. RIcotta can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Cook pasta according to package directions, saving 1/4 cup of the cooking water before straining. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, adding garlic and shallots or onion, sauteing until soft but not browned. Add chopped cherry tomatoes, cooking for just a few minutes, until they have softened but not lost completely lost their form. Add pasta, reheating it in the sauce and seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the arugula, stirring it until it has just wilted. Serve with dollops of tofu ricotta and fresh basil. EAT