Italian sausage just doesn't do it for me. It's the fennel that ruins it. Plus I'm trying to incorporate more meatless meals into my family's diet. So I pulled out a couple packages of tofu out of the fridge and I'm sure glad I did. This is a nice vegetarian twist on a classic Italian dish...if I do say so myself.
You gotta get that excess water out of your tofu for this dish to work. Press it between paper towels or clean dish towels. Don't smash it to death, but really press that tofu until your towels soak up as much water as possible. As you can see in the picture, I placed paper towels in a bowl after I chopped up the tofu so I could dry to tofu out some more before adding the salt and pepper.
Now, the onions and garlic:
Reduce your heat if the garlic starts popping out of the pan like popcorn. You want to cook the onions and garlic just a little. The onions will have time to soften more after you add the peppers. So you'll know it's time to add the peppers when your onions and garlic look like the lovely picture above.
Okay, onions and garlic, I'd like you to meet peppers and herbs...
(I think they like each other)
Hey look, the tofu is ready! ;)
Be sure to flip and toss your tofu around as it cooks. Depending on your pan, you should be able to cook it at a pretty high heat. It will get light and bouncy as it gets brown. Try to brown all sides.
Alas, tofu, peppers and onions!
Just let everything simmer for about 15 minutes, and you're all set.
This dish pairs well with a nice salad. Like this one:
Italian Tofu, Peppers and Onions
2 packages firm tofu
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon pepper
2 Teaspoons dried basil, divided
2 Teaspoons dried oregano, divided
2 Tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, sliced
5 Cups bell pepper, sliced
1/4 Cup white cooking wine
Drain the excess water out of the tofu by pressing between paper towels or clean dish towels. Chop the tofu into cubes and press again with towels to get as much the water out as possible. Sprinkle tofu with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat and add tofu to the pan. Let tofu cook until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in another large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until onions begin to soften, stirring frequently. Add the bell pepper, 1 teaspoon of basil and 1 teaspoon of oregano to the pan of onions and garlic. Then stir in the white wine. Continue to cook and stir until the onions and peppers are tender. If they start to burn or if the pan gets too dry, reduce heat and add a little more white wine or water or vegetable broth to the pan.
When tofu is browned on all sides reduce heat to low and stir in 1 teaspoon on basil and 1 teaspoon of oregano, distributing the herbs to all pieces of tofu. Then add tofu to the pan of vegetables. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
So what do you think of this vegetarian dish? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.