Recipe: Creamy Tomato Pasta

This recipe is based on the recipe of a friend of mine; the original can be found here. I was a little unsure about this as I’ve never had a creamy tomato dish before, but I had some discounted Tofutti to use so I tried it.

Ingredients:

500 Grams of Pasta (I used penne).
Salt for the Pasta water.

1 Small Onion, diced.
2 Teaspoons of Garlic, crushed.
100 Grams of Mushrooms, sliced.
1 Teaspoon each of Dried Thyme, Dried Basil and Dried Oregano (or whatever Italian herbs you want).
1/2 a 700 Gram Jar of Passata (pureed Tomatoes).
125 Grams of Cherry Tomatoes, halved.
Olive Oil.
100 Grams of Spinach.
1 Tub of Vegan Cream Cheese (I used Tofutti).
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Method:

Boil water in a medium pan, then add salt and the Pasta. Cook until tender, drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan heat the Olive Oil then add the Onion and Garlic. Cook until Onion is see through, stirring occasionally.

Add the Herbs, the Mushrooms and the Cherry Tomatoes, cook until softened.

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Onions, Herbs and Mushrooms

Add the Passata and stir through.

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Tomato!

Add the Cream Cheese and combine thoroughly.

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After the cheese is stirred in

Stir through the Spinach and add the Salt and Pepper.

Add the pasta and stir through.

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Ready to eat

Verdict: So creamy! I can’t believe my friend actually suggests using 2 tubs of Cream Cheese! Despite the creaminess the dish still has a strong tomato flavour. It’s nice but I wouldn’t make it again. Nothing wrong with it, it’s just not my thing.

Product: Tofutti

Tofutti is an American based vegan company specializing in mock dairy products. They are special as you can find at least one of their products in almost every Coles and Woolworths supermarket in Australia.

Better Than Cream Cheese.

CreamCheese-Original-Plain

The old packaging style

This is the product most readily available, look for it next to the dairy cream cheese in any supermarket.

Texture: Smooth and creamy, absolutely

flawless. On a side not the color is almost blindingly white, it’s quite disconcerting. 4/5

Flavor: This was the first cheese substitute I ever tasted. Being a big lover of cream cheeses I had high expectations, which were not met. On first taste was surprised to find that instead of being salty it was in fact slightly sweet. Very odd. However unlike the Sheese product it it not over powering and has none of the odd scent. Only slightly cheese it works well as a creamy element to sandwiches. 3/5

Overall: Not amazing, but certainly the best cream cheese substitute I’ve found so far. I’m told it works well as part of cake icing and cheesecakes, but I am yet to try it out. It’s also well priced and as previously stated readily available. 4/5

American style soy cheese slices.

Slices-American-Slices

Very bright but no necessarily easy to find amoungst the dairy

The second most readily available Tofutti product. Can be found in some Woolworths hidden among the cheese slices or occasionally near the tofu.

Texture: Not great. when first taken out of the individual wrapping the slices greasy and floppy. Not particularly nice. When eaten the slices have the usual curdled texture that mos

t mock cheeses have. 2/5

Flavor: Again not particularly nice. they have a strong soy taste and while they are cheesy it’s not an entirely pleasant flavor. I had to remove the cheese from a cheese and tomato sandwich because the taste was so uncomfortable. Best eaten with strong flavors like pickle or tinned spaghetti. 2/5

Overall: Not good. The only reason I would buy this again would be if I had no other access to any other cheese substitutes. 2/5

Mini ravioli.

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Oddly packaged in a cardboard box

Pasta filled with Tofutti Better Than Ricotta.

Texture: Fine. The filling is creamy, the pasta is okay but not spectacular. The pasta is a little thick as well. 4/5

Flavor: Not so nice. The ricotta suffers from the same issues as the cream cheese. Too sweet. Even with a strong tomato sauce you can’t escape the sugary filling, it’s like eating dessert and dinner in the same mouthful. I’ve only tried the mini’s but I can’t imagine what the regular size taste like. 1/5

Overall: Not something I’d eat again, I’d suggest that the Better Than Ricotta product should only be used for desserts. 1/5

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The packaging

Sour Supreme.

Definitely my favorite Tofutti product so far. Unfortunately is hard to find. I Adelaide it’s only available at Everything Vegan and sometimes at Bliss Organic.

Texture: Slightly grainy but not overly unpleasant. 4/5

Flavor: Has a definite soy taste but it’s not too strong, could be a bit more sour but otherwise is a good substitute for its dairy equivalent. 4/5

Overall: Great. Goes well with burritos and nachos. 4/5

So Tofutti has some good and some not so good products and there’s a whole lot more out there for me to try. I really want to have a go at some of their ice creams but they’re so darned expensive!