Tofu Cacciatore (or Red Pepper-White Wine-Caper Sauce)

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It is a little oxymoronic to use non-vegan terms to name a dish but it’s a good way to describe a familiar dish. Cacciatore means “hunter” and this is a famous dish that hunter’s prepared. I guess you could say I hunted down the tofu at the health food store and, whew, that was hard. And now I made this dinner.

I researched cacciatore, first on Wikipedia and then different recipes. There are tons out there but the basic ingredients include onions, peppers, tomatoes and wine. Here is my version. Cacciatore is traditionally served over pasta but it is also great over rice and polenta. The sauce is just as good, if not better, the next day. Oh, and chickpeas are great with this sauce too. See the end of the post!

Note: This recipe calls for a roasted red pepper. Roast it ahead of time, say during a prep day, and have it on hand to make this dinner happen super quickly! You could also use store bought but homemade is always better.

Serves 2

For the sauce
1 small leek, green and white parts
1 clove of garlic
1 roasted red pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon chickpea miso
1 cup white wine (I like Vegan Vines Chardonnay)
2 teaspoons capers
1/4 lemon, thinly sliced
A few tablespoons of water, for sautéing

1/2 block of extra firm tofu, pressed for as long as you have time for
2 tablespoons chickpea flour, seasoned with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons sunflower oil, for sautéing

Pasta, enough for 2

Get the pasta going.

Clean and thinly slice the leek. Add to a pan with sides. When the leeks start to soften add a tablespoon or two of water so they don’t stick. Press the garlic and add to the leeks. Chop the roasted pepper and add to the pan. Stir around.

Add the tomato paste and miso and use a whisk to break them down and incorporate into the vegetables. Add the white wine, capers and lemon slices and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook out the wine, about 10 minutes. The sauce will thicken up and smell great.

Season the chickpea flour with salt and pepper. Cube the tofu and coat in chickpea flour. Heat the oil in a separate non stick pan and sauté the tofu until golden.

Tuck the tofu squares into the sauce and toss around gently to coat the tofu. Let them cook together for a few minutes.

Plate it up and enjoy!

Note for chickpeas, make the sauce and mix in a cup of chickpeas at the end just to heat them through. I like that version over rice!

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