Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tofu Ricotta

This recipe is from the cookbook Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

Recipe: see page 206 of Veganomicon.
I've already made this recipe for Tofu Ricotta for this blog before, but couldn't pass up doing it again when I found some vegan manicotti at the Viva la Vegan grocery store in Rancho Cucamonga (southern California). It's a great little store for finding interesting things I never knew existed. They had things like Tofurky pizzas (Tofurky makes pizza?), and the new 'Beyond Meat' which I have been reading about in the news for the last 2 years and is supposed to be a hyper-realistic animal-free faux meat. I keep reading stories about it, but have never seen it, and they had it.

So, they had vegan manicotti, which is something I don't think I've ever seen. It's been difficult for me to find mostly because those big pieces of pasta, like manicotti, lasagna and the big shells, tend to be made with egg. But maybe I wasn't looking hard enough, because this was DaVinci brand pasta, which is fairly common in this area.

I assumed there had to be at least one recipe on my shelf of vegan cookbooks for manicotti, but surprisingly there wasn't. Then I remembered this recipe for vegan ricotta in Veganomicon. It's very fast to put together, especially if you have extra firm tofu with a low water content. Some brands of tofu are firmer than others, even though they may call themselves extra-firm. You have to press it to squeeze out the excess water, and that might take a couple hours, but after that it's a 2-minute recipe.

It's been many years since I've had animal-based ricotta, but it seems to closely imitate that. As I remember it, ricotta never had much of a taste anyway. It got it's flavor from what you put into it, and that is the case here as well. I like this. It's a great general purpose recipe.

For the photo, I topped the manicotti with tomato sauce and a creamy cheese-style sauce made with white beans, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and tahini.

Ingredients: extra firm tofu, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt, black pepper, basil.