Tofu Balls with Quick Tomato Sauce and Pasta

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Tofu Balls with Quick Tomato Sauce and Pasta

I pair these tofu balls with pasta and tomato sauce, but you can serve them solo with the Creamy Cocktail Sauce or the Fresh Mint, Cilantro, and Green Chile Chutney. To save time, you could substitute a high-quality store-bought pasta sauce and use fresh noodles that cook quickly. The tomato sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month. The tofu balls can be refrigerated for a few days; do not freeze.

Serves 6

Tomato Sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 pounds (1 kg) ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped (heaping 5 cups, 1.25 ml)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or thyme
½ cup (125 ml) canned tomato sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Tofu Balls (makes about 35)
One 14-ounce (420 g) package firm tofu, drained, finely crumbled, and blotted dry with paper towels
3/4 cup (60 g) panko bread crumbs
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup (30 g) grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, or to taste
1/3 cup (15 g) chopped fresh cilantro, basil, or dill
¼ cup (35 g) diced jarred roasted red peppers
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

8 ounces (240 g) thin dried pasta, such as angel-hair, spaghettini, or thin linguine, or fresh thin pasta
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

  1. To make the tomato sauce, in a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and Italian seasoning and sauté, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened, about 7 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, stir, and simmer until the desired consistency, about 7 minutes longer. Add salt and pepper, adjust the seasoning, and set aside.
  1. To make the tofu balls, combine all of the ingredients except the vegetable oil in a large bowl and mix until well blended. Before you shape the balls, you may want to make a test to check the seasoning: Form about 1 tablespoon of the tofu mixture into a patty and cook in a little oil in a small skillet. Taste, and adjust the seasoning in the remaining mixture, if necessary.
  2. Line a baking sheet with baking paper for easy cleanup. Using a rounded tablespoon for each one, form balls with the tofu mixture and place them on the baking sheet.
  3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu balls, in batches, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, rolling them around as they cook to keep them as round as possible. The outside should be light golden brown and the inside cooked through. If they begin to brown too quickly, reduce the heat. Transfer the cooked balls to a bowl, cover with foil, and set aside.
  4. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Add the desired amount of sauce and mix well. Place a portion of the sauced pasta on each place and top with tofu balls and basil. Pass the Parmesan cheese at the table.

352 Calories In
Protein: 18 g; Carbohydrates: 40 g; Fat: 14 g; Fiber: 6 g; Sodium: 292 mg; Carb Choices: 2½; Diabetic Exchange: 2 Starch, 2 Vegetable, 2 Medium-Fat Meat

352 Calories Out
Women: Walk: 86 minutes | Jog: 40 minutes
Men: Walk: 72 minutes | Jog: 34 minutes

Calorie Cuts
Instead of pasta, use a lower-calorie grain, such as ½ cup (125 ml) plain cooked couscous (88 cals), ½ cup plain cooked white rice (103 cals), ½ cup cooked brown rice (108 cals), or ½ cup plain cooked quinoa (111 cals).