Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dinner and a Food Movie

As manager of our Netflix queue, I occasionally subject Mandolin Don to a food movie. Fortunately, they've all turned out to be entertaining. Woman on Top and Big Night were favorites, and recently we enjoyed Dinner Rush. To my delight, the opening scene featured a platter of pasta in marinara sauce, similar to the dinner I'd prepared for us.

Our Baked Penne with Vegetables was adapted from a Baked Ziti dish by Random Vegan Recipes. It includes a tofu "ricotta", and is simple enough to make after a day at work. If you're in the mood for comfort food, this pasta satisfies. I plan to increase the ancho chile next time, or perhaps use ground chipotle instead for more heat. Don't be deterred by the Newman's Own Marinara sauce. While I usually make my own sauce, I like to have some shortcuts available after a busy day and this sauce is actually very good.

Baked Penne with Vegetables
16 ounces whole wheat penne
1 Tablespoon olive oil for sauteing, plus 2 teaspoons olive oil for "ricotta"
1 cup diced onion
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, then each half cut lengthwise in thirds, then diced
1 carrot, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 large cloves garlic, minced
24 ounces Newman's Own Marinara sauce
1 package silken firm tofu
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile
freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
vegan parm, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cook penne according to package, but reduce cooking time by a couple of minutes because you will bake it later. Drain penne.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and saute onion, zucchini, carrot, and mushrooms until veggies soften. Add garlic and saute a minute or two. Add marinara sauce and simmer about 10 minutes.
In a food processor, puree tofu, Italian Seasoning, ground ancho chile, lemon juice, 2 tsp olive oil, salt and pepper until consistency is similar to ricotta.
Spread some of the tomato sauce mixture to coat the bottom of a 13x9 inch casserole dish.
Combine the drained penne, tofu mixture, and remaining tomato veggie sauce in a large bowl. Add to casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with vegan parm if you like.


  1. Lisa,

    This looks great -- your photos are always drool-worthy. Tofu ricotta is awesome too...thank you for posting your recipe!

  2. Thanks for the nice comment!As you know, tofu ricotta adds that creamy touch -mmm.

  3. Lisa,

    This looks absolutely yum! I love that you want to make it spicier, I think you and I would get along. All those veggies, what a satisfying meal!

    Dinner and a movie is a great way to spend an evening.

  4. Wow, this looks great! Thanks for giving me the menu for tonight's dinner!

    If you like zombie books, read "World War Z". :)

  5. Jennifer, the added veggies worked out well, but more heat is a must for next time!

    Bee Roach, World War Z is on my "wish list"! Thanks for the tip. I've been reading mostly cookbooks lately, but really liked Zombie Island. Currently I'm working on The Town that Forgot How to Breathe.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts with Thumbnails