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Summery Vegetarian Lemon Orecchiette Pasta

June 5, 2017

This post is sponsored by Colavita. All words and opinions are my own.


Hello, friends.


It’s June! Isn’t that crazy?? Where has the year gone? It just feels like only yesterday I was January 1st and I was launching the new site and now I’m graduated from college and have started the next chapter of my life.  With these new beginnings comes a new venture for my photography. You might have been noticing that my photos have started to become a bit lighter in style. For over two years I have fallen in love with the dark and shadowy nature that my work has become today. As I grow as a photographer, I want to challenge myself and dabble in styles and medium that stretch and grow me as an artist. I am going to be doing a mixture of both light and dark food photos and going from there.



So, let’s talk about this pasta dish, shall we?? Momma C first found this recipe from Weight Watchers and it was so, SO delicious. This dish uses orecchiette pasta which in Italian means ‘small ear’, which makes a lot of sense seeing that the pasta looks pretty much like a baby pig's ear. In the original version, it called for Italian sausage but for my recipe, I wanted to try pan frying up some cubed tofu in a little extra virgin olive oil and seasoning it with Italian spices and it turned out incredible! What is so wonderful about tofu is that it takes on whatever flavorings you add to it and it had such a wonderful depth of flavor! I also wanted to add a bit of balsamic vinegar and basil pesto to the pasta to give the dish some summery freshness. A squeeze of lemon on top and it was absolutely perfect. This one pan marvel is sure to be your next weeknight meal or dinner party go-to.












Summery Vegetarian Lemon Orecchiette Pasta

Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers





3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

14 oz. firm tofu, pressed* and cubed

1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning

1 large yellow onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

4 cups vegetable broth

8 oz. uncooked orecchiette pasta

2 cups uncooked broccoli, chopped

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Juice of half a lemon + zest of whole lemon

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons basil pesto

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/3 cup Italian parsley, chopped  






Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the pressed, diced tofu and Italian seasonings and cook until the tofu begins to turn lightly brown, about 8 minutes. Remove tofu from the pan and into a bowl.


Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the onion, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes and cook until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring frequently, for 8 minutes.


Add the broccoli and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 4 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the tofu, parmesan, lemon juice, lemon zest, balsamic vinegar, basil pesto, grape tomatoes, and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately. 


*How to press tofu. Drain any of the liquid from the block of tofu. Fold paper towels around the tofu and then set a large cast iron skillet on top of it to press out the excess moisture. Allow to sit for about an hour to press.





Huge thanks to Colavita for sponsoring this recipe. Be sure to tag me and share your baking creations with the hashtag #terminatetorbakes so we can obsess about food together. And as always, all opinions, ramblings, stories, and recipe/adaptations are my own.



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