I eat lunch at work with a group of people who all bring lunches from home on a regular basis. We almost always begin our time discussing and commenting on what everyone else has brought. Last week, two different people tried to guess what I was eating. Was it chicken? My friends knew that was unlikely. Eggplant? I wish, but not at this time of year. Nope, it was tofu. This didn’t really come as a surprise to anyone.
The conversation then transitioned to the fact that if you bread something, cover it with tomato sauce and cheese and then serve it with a side of pasta, it’s almost guaranteed to be delicious. “Anything” Parmesan is one of my favorite foods and it is so easy to make meatless versions. This Tofu Parmesan is just as good as the original, doesn’t use anything exotic (if you haven’t tried tofu yet, check my recipe index for ideas to get started!) and reheats well for several days of work lunches.
This dish is also perfect if you’re having a spring like we are: cool and rainy. I am dying to see the sun for more than a few minutes at a time, but Tofu Parmesan is the perfect comfort food to help get me through.
- 1 package 14 ounces extra firm tofu, pressed
- 8 slices mozzarella cheese about 8 ounces
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- olive oil for pan frying
- 1 and 1/2 cups jarred tomato sauce of your choosing separated
- spaghetti or other pasta to serve on the side
- additional tomato sauce to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Slice the tofu into 8 even pieces (I sliced mine down the width of the block, turned the halves on the short end and cut 4 lengthwise slices)
- Coat the bottom of a large saute pan with olive oil. Heat on medium high heat.
- Meanwhile, place the egg into a bowl large enough to fit a tofu slice. Lightly beat the egg. Place the breadcrumbs in another similarly sized bowl.
- Coat the tofu slices by coating each piece with egg, then breadcrumbs. Cook the slices of tofu in the oil for about 3 minutes per side, or until crispy and golden brown. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to complete this step in batches.
- As the tofu slices finish cooking, transfer them to a paper towel covered plate.
- Coat the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish with 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Gently place the breaded, cooked tofu sliced into the baking dish on top of the tomato sauce.
- Cover the slices with the remaining 1/2 cup of tomato sauce. The back of a spoon works well for this.
- Top each tofu piece with a slice of mozzarella cheese.
- Bake the tofu parmesan for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to your package instructions.
- Serve the tofu parmesan next to or on top of the pasta, with additional sauce as needed.