Tofu is a great source of protein, calcium and iron. It picks up the flavors of the foods you cook it with, so you can use a firm tofu in a stir fry or a creamy tofu in a dessert recipe and both taste great. This recipe calls for a firm tofu.
By the way, this recipe was my grandmother’s -yes, I am proud to be third generation “crunchy”!
As you can see, I still have her original recipe card which was typed up on a manual typewriter way back in the 70’s (when else!). I have modified it just a bit- I lowered the salt content and added oregano, because I like mine flavorful and then I get to use the herbs I grow and dry:
Tofu Italian “Meatballs”
12 oz. tofu (Medium to Firm)
1/4 Cup finely ground walnuts
1/2 onion minced
1/4 – 1/3 Cup bread crumbs
1 egg slightly beaten
3 Tablespoons minced parsley (you can use dried or fresh)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Mix the above ingredients well, and shape the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Fry in a healthy oil until they are cooked and well browned. Place in a pan and cover them with pasta sauce. Cook “meatballs” on low heat for at least 30 minutes. For best flavor allow them to simmer in sauce for at least 4-6 hours.
The “meatballs” sometimes crumble, but this is a very tasty recipe and good for the crock pot. Just mix them up, brown them and leave them in the crock-pot with the sauce. You can easily double or even triple the recipe for larger families.
You can modify the recipe easily to make “meatballs” in a sweet/sour sauce to serve with rice and veggies by changing the spices you use. Add a little curry to make an Indian dish or skip the herbs and simmer them in a barbecue sauce.
Vegan Friends: I have not tried to make this without the eggs- you might try adding a little arrowroot starch to use as a binder instead of the eggs. Let me know how you do with this if you get a chance!