Chickpea Pasta with Silken Tofu Tomato Sauce

I’m introducing three food items you may want to try: Banza pasta, silken tofu and nutritional yeast. Banza pasta is a new, gluten-free pasta made from chickpeas. Silken tofu is a creamy version of tofu and nutritional yeast is a savory vegan substitute for Parmesan cheese. This dish is power-packed with plant protein, meeting the requirements of every healthy eating pattern including vegan, vegetarian, heart healthy and high fiber but more importantly, it’s really good.  I served the pasta with a quick tomato sauce made from high quality canned tomatoes and pillows of silken tofu. Instead of Parmesan cheese, I sprinkled it with nutritional yeast (see nutrition note).

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Chickpea Pasta with a Silken Tofu Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

Tomato sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  •  3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 28 ounce can peeled tomatoes (I like San Marzano)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 of a 1 pound container silken tofu (cubed)

Banza pasta: 

  • 8 ounce box cooked according to directions

Toppings:

  • a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • handful of chopped fresh basil or few tablespoons of pesto

Directions

In a medium pan, saute the garlic in olive oil for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes (chopping them into smaller pieces) and oregano cook, uncovered, for about 10-15 minutes. Add cubed tofu, stirring gently and cook for a few more minutes. Serve the pasta with sauce and toppings.

Nutritional Notes: My experience with bean-based pasta has not been positive. They tend to be mushy and have a strong beany flavor. Banza is an exception. It holds its texture well with little to no bean flavor (my husband and daughter thought is was regular pasta). A real plus is its high protein and fiber content from the chickpeas and pea protein. One serving contains 14 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. Nutritional yeast (made from inactive dry yeast) provides a savory umami flavor to any food. It’s particularly good as a Parmesan cheese substitute. Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of all B vitamins and for vegans, it’s an important source of B12. Silken tofu has a soft, creamy texture which works nicely in sauces, smoothies and even desserts.

JudyMatusky.com

Note: For most of my recipes, I try to recommend food you can purchase at any supermarket but Banza pasta and nutritional yeast may not be readily available in all supermarkets. I purchased the nutritional yeast in bulk at Whole Foods but I did find the Banza pasta at Giant. Tofu can be purchased in any supermarket and comes in firm, extra firm and silken varieties.

 

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