I miss you Cookie

Does anyone else remember the hip mom’s magazine Cookie? Anyone else maybe scream at their husband about its demise? I knew we were friends for a reason.

Cookie was this awesome magazine that was a step up from Parents. “It was the go-to resource for modern parents, offering not only high style for kids, but also meaty and interesting stories and essays about the shape and face of the modern family” says the Huffington Post.  So, so true. You didn’t feel like you were reading the same magazine that women read in the 80s. It was fresh and young with a mix of working mom stuff and stay at home mom stuff. In a word: Awesome. And I miss it.

So I was pretty excited when a few of the editors wrote a cookbook in 2010 Time for Dinner: What to Cook. Many of the recipes are right out of the magazine. They are written by moms who like to cook but often don’t have time. So they have options like “cook once, eat 3 times” and “if you have this (name an ingredient) make this (with 4 options of what to create)”. They, of course, also have options for moms who like to cook and do have time.

My go-to recipe from the book calls to me for its sneaky use of tofu. No one in my family knows there is tofu in it and it is going to stay that way. Oh don’t worry, Alex doesn’t read my blog. He says he is “living the blog” so he doesn’t need to read it.

Anyway, this is a family favorite. It is filling, has (sneaky) tofu, veggies and is really good. I do add chicken for Alex so he thinks it is a meal. Yes, you vegetarians are not eating “meals” in case you were wondering. Only if an animal dies can it considered dinner. I think you are “snacking” which in Alex’s mind is the worst. THE worst.

Rigatoni Casserole with Tofu (shhhhhh)
with some modifications from Cookie

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 pinch dried oregano
1 (12- to 14-ounce) package firm tofu, drained
1 large egg
1 pinch grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
1 (1-pound) box rigatoni, cooked al dente and drained
1 pound fresh mozzarella, grated (about 4 cups)
3 ounces grated Parmesan (about 3/4 cup)
2 cups chopped chicken (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion. Sauté for 1 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes more.
3. Add the tomatoes and oregano. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a blender, process the tofu, egg, nutmeg, salt, and pepper until smooth.
4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in the spinach, cooked rigatoni, tomato sauce, chicken (if using), 1 cup of the mozzarella, and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan.
5. Drizzle a coating of olive oil into a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Add the pasta mixture and sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the top. Bake until golden and bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

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