A few years ago I was having dinner with a group of friends when the topic of disliked foods came up. Most of us were rather adventurous eaters so when we went around the table each naming the foods we did not enjoy the lists were rather short. I was the last to speak and mine were tofu and okra. And just about everyone agreed with me, quickly adding them to their own lists. I’m still working on finding a way to enjoy okra, but I have since learned that when tofu is used as an ingredient instead of the main attraction it’s not all that bad.
Sun Oven Mac’n’Cheese Surprise
1 pound shell or elbow whole wheat pasta
1 box (1 pound) silken tofu, drained
2 cups milk, (whole, 2%, or 1%)
2 tablespoons mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch
6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray.
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions to al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a large sauce pan, use an immersion blender to combine the tofu, milk, mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper until smooth. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring often. When it starts to simmer, whisk in the cornstarch and then the Cheddar cheese. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Spread the pasta out in the prepared baking pan. Pour the sauce over the pasta. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. Stir in the breadcrumbs and parsley. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the pasta. Top with a generous dusting of Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake in the Sun Oven until browned, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.