This Quick Tofu and Greens Pasta is the answer to your weeknight meal struggles! As a busy family of five, we are often at a loss for what to cook, even with two Chefs in the house! Anytime that we do not know what to eat, I throw together a quick pasta dinner like this one. It comes together quickly, it's cheap, it's filling and always tastes amazing!
Let's talk tofu! For this dish I froze my tofu first. It is not necessary to do so but I like the texture that freezing imparts. It makes the tofu more porous so that it soaks up more flavor. Also, it gives the tofu a slightly firmer texture that is meatier. For that reason, I almost called this quick tofu and greens pasta tofu bolognese! I always use extra firm tofu, but firm will work fine as well. Be sure to squeeze the excess water from the tofu before cooking. You will be surprised that you may wring out the water easily from thawed tofu with your hands. It is just like squeezing a sponge!
I love adding greens to my pasta dishes. This quick tofu and greens pasta is no exception. For this dish I used collard greens. Collards are hardy, slightly bitter and pair perfectly with the quick garlicky sauce. I like to add the greens as the last step, to preserve their color and nutrients. Other greens that can be substituted are kale, or spinach, taking care not to overcook them. Pairing greens with tomato sauce is a nutritionally sound combo since the vitamin c helps the body absorb iron!
I used frozen corn in this quick tofu and greens pasta. You could also use corn off the cob for a fresher twist! I love using frozen corn when I am too busy to chop another vegetable or when the fridge is bare. I always have a bag of corn and peas in the freezer for this reason. Peas would be an excellent substitute for the corn in this dish.
This über quick tomato sauce made with garlic, tomato paste, water and spices is the perfect base for any pasta. It comes together in minutes and its versatility is unmatched. Mixed with some veggies and nutritional yeast, it makes this quick tofu and greens pasta really hit the spot.
Quick Tofu and Greens Pasta
- Sauce pot for cooking pasta, saute pan for sauce
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 16 oz extra firm tofu frozen, thawed and drained of excess water then crumbled
- 2 cups collard greens shredded
- 1 cup corn kernals frozen
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 cups water
- 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
- 1 TBSP olive oil extra virgin
- 1 black pepper to taste
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp italian seasoning
- 16 oz whole wheat rotini
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Cook pasta according to box directions, being careful not to overcook
- Heat olive oil over medium heat, add garlic and cook for 3 minutes until sizzling and fragrant
- Add crumbled tofu, salt, onion powder and smoked paprika, stir once and do not move for 3-4 minutes to give the tofu some nice seared golden color. Add tomato paste then cook 3 more minutes stirring occasionally. Tomato paste should turn a darker color from the caramelization.
- Add water and corn and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer to let the sauce thicken.
- Lastly add the collard greens and stir into the hot sauce to wilt, add the pasta, nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes and black pepper and mix well. Taste for salt and adjust to your liking.