these days coming home is a dark affair, gone are the days when the rooms were well lit and warmed by the setting sun. instead, there is a disquiet quality to the air, almost resentful. when we arrive home, what i like to do is make a mad dash to our tiny kitchen, throw the light switch on to dispel the mood a little. then, dw + i, side by side, start dinner preparations, maybe laugh in low, post-dusk voices, sharing tidbits of our day to each other, all the while our respective chores are done without much thought, in unison. a dish hand dried, a pot brought to boil, csa loot being divvied up for the evening's meal.
this dish is a typical weeknight meal. pasta + protein. it's versatile because you can use any greens you have on hand, i happened to use kale, but spinach, chard, beet greens or even just parsley would work well. we don't eat much meat at home but always have tofu on hand. because tofu can be rather bland you want to be generous with the seasoning, especially if the sauce is a simple garlic + olive oil dressing. i did not keep track of measurements so what i have here is more of a guideline, and use what you have on hand or is seasonal.
once the rush & hub is done, the abode is much lighter, friendlier and the night beckons warmly for cozy in front of the tv snuggling, making the season much more bearable. life is so much better on a full stomach, yes?
Tofu + Kale Balls with Pasta
1 container of firm tofu
kale, as little or as much as you want, rough chopped. i usually use the entire bunch of kale
2 cloves of garlic, minced finely
2 shallots or a small onion, diced
very generous sprinkling of salt/pepper for taste
red pepper flakes
handful bread or panko crumbs
olive oil to quick fry the balls and cook up the vegs
optional fillings: finely shredded carrots, cheese, nutritional yeast, the sky is pretty much the limit.
pasta, like spaghetti, prepared according to package instructions
1 garlic clove minced
for the tofu, squeeze as much water out of it as possible. what i do is wrap the block in a kitchen towel and press a heavy pan on it for about an hour or so.
meanwhile, in a pan, heat up some olive oil. when hot add in the onions/shallots and garlic. saute until fragrant and translucent, anywhere from 3-8 minutes. add in kale (or whatever greens) and ensure the oily mixture coats the bunch thoroughly. season generously. set aside to cool.
bring a pot of water to boil.
in a mixing bowl crumble the tofu. add in the sauteed veggies, mix well. if it cool enough, use your hands. at your discretion add in the crumbs, a little at a time until you're able to shape the mixture into balls. fry them up in a bit of oil until you get a nice browning on the edges.
cook up the spaghetti. in the same saute pan toss the pasta in warmed olive oil + minced garlic. when you plate the pasta, add in the tofu balls.