Tofu Spaghetti: disguise or delicious?


This is a vegetarian wafu spaghetti dish with flavors similar to Japanese spaghetti Napolitan.
The recipe is in The Book of Tofu by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi—a book with a mission: protein source of the future– now!, Volume 1. Many of the recipes in the book illustrate how to enhance and enjoy tofu for what it is.
If this recipe is meant to disguise the presence of tofu in order to encourage its use, then the regurgitated texture of the mashed tofu is off-putting. I like the texture of the shira-ae dressing, but without the sesame paste to bind the tofu, perhaps it is not possible for tofu to thicken a liquid sauce. An experiment using soft silken tofu, mashed and pressed through a sieve is in order.

In general, I don’t like recipes which disguise a supposedly healthy food with another.
A few years ago there were several cookbooks featuring cookies, sweets, pizza sauces, and other foods most American kids love; the cook could fool children into eating their vegetables by blending them into unrecognizable forms. It’s trickery.
Remember Julie Andrews singing, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…” But vegetables and tofu are not ‘medicine.’ Vegetables and tofu are food and are meant to be enjoyed.
I don’t ever buy the processed food products for vegans (or vegetarians), the ones made to resemble cheese, eggs, milk, burgers, meatloaf, hot dogs, sausages…

Tofu Spaghetti Sauce
Book of tofu: protein source of the future– now!, Volume 1
By William Shurtleff, Akiko Aoyagi
p 121
serves 4

  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, diced

Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.

  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 green peppers, diced
  • 3 mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • ½ carrot, grated or diced or julienned
  • stalk of broccoli, peeled and julienned
    save a few broccoli flowers for garnish

Sauté 3 to 4 minutes more.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf

Simmer for 15 minutes.

  • 12 ounces tofu, crumbled, or 10 ounces thick agé, diced
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons shoyu
  • dash of pepper

Simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature.
Re-heat or serve at room temperature with cheese over spaghetti.

  • thin spaghetti, cooked al denté
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan

Variety of seasonings: grated gingerroot, shiso, oregono, or basil

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