I wasn't sure if I wanted to post this, because it's definitely the most boring course our of the four-course dinner I'd prepared earlier this month. But the recipe certainly wasn't boring, so it's worth a mention :)
I was quite excited to have to attempt a recipe modification for therapeutic reasons, and the one I ended up choosing was lactose intolerance i.e. no dairy products (although interestingly, cheddar cheese is low enough to be tolerated for people with lactose intolerance!). I admit, I didn't exactly come up with the whole recipe myself- I'd seen a recipe for a healthy mushroom gratin and adapted it to a pasta bake recipe, with the result being this!
Instead of the usual creamy white sauce, I substituted it for blended tofu- and before you turn away and say 'yuk!' like my lactose intolerant friend did when I told her of this recipe, I'll let you know that it doesn't taste like tofu at all! Not that it turned out amazing though- I had under-seasoned the tofu 'sauce' and it was a little dry overall as I'd used more pasta than was called for in the recipe- but it's definitely nothing like you would expect, surprisingly creamy, although thicker than your usual white sauce. With a little more seasoning though, it would be a great alternative for people with lactose intolerance- or even those without, because since the removal of butter and cream does cut down a lot of the fat!
Creamy Pasta Bake
150g dried pasta
2Tbsp. Oil (eg canola)
1 cup silken tofu
½ tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1Tbsp. Miso Paste
1 tsp. Paprika
2 cloves garlic, peeled
200g chicken breast
150g cup mushrooms
Cheddar cheese, to your liking
(Note: I didn't use cheese in my version because I didn't have any so I used bread crumbs instead)
- Cook pasta following packet directions until just tender. Drain.
- Drain the water from the tofu. Squeeze and mash the tofu in the same bowl or in a blender. Strain. Add in the salt, soy sauce, miso, and paprika.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat, add garlic and a pinch of salt and fry for a few moments. Add chicken. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Cover. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until just tender. Transfer to a plate
- Add the tofu mixture to the pan, then drain the pasta and add to sauce, tossing together until the pasta is well coated (if the sauce looks a bit thick, add some water). Transfer to 6 small ramekins.
- Sprinkle cheddar cheese onto ramekins and place in hot oven (preheated at 180oC) for around 10 minutes, until browned.