Pre-Race Pasta with Protein-Packed Arrabbiata

Tomorrow is race day. I’ll be running my first 5k since November, and my first 5k on a track since 2012! I had to sit out last year’s track season due to some pesky injuries, so last weekend, when I ran the 1200 leg of the DMR, I participated in my first track meet in 2 years! It was also the first time I tried this new dish.

You see, I always like to eat pasta the night before a race. A typical runner’s carb-o-loading dinner. I get that I could eat any well-balanced meal and be fine, but I always feel like I need pasta. Superstition, I guess. It’s important to have protein, too, and usually I’ll make a vegetarian chicken parm with morningstar “chicken” patties, or put some boca crumbles in the pasta sauce. But Trader Joe’s has been running a little low in the fake-meat department, so I’ve had to improvise.

So, I worked with it. And honestly, what I came up with is better than any fake chicken parm. I DARE you carnivores to try this, too. I promise, it’s DELICIOUS. You won’t even know you’re eating tofu!

I knew I wanted an arrabbiata sauce – sometimes I like my pasta sauce to be a little spicy. Luckily, I still had half a jar in the fridge. I also had some baby bella mushrooms and capers, which, yum. I sliced the baby bellas up to small pieces and cooked them in the frying pan with some tofu.

Usually tofu is served cubed or sliced, but to make a meat-sauce like consistency I used a spatula to kinda of smush the tofu into a ground-meat consistency.


For flavor, I sprinkled the tofu with ground red pepper and cinnamon, and a little bit of oregano and basil.

End result? A delicious, slightly spicy, and high-protein vegetarian pasta dish!


If you prefer a milder sauce, replace arrabbiata with your favorite pasta sauce, and cut the red pepper from the tofu!

Pre-Race Pasta with Protein-Packed Arrabbiata

  • Linguine (or pasta of your choice)
  • Jarred Arrabbiata Sauce
  • Sprouted Extra Firm Tofu
  • Mushrooms
  • Capers
  • Red Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Basil


Boil a pot of water. While waiting for water to boil, heat olive oil in a pan. Pat tofu dry with paper towels. Slice into smaller pieces before putting into pan if you want. You’re going to break it into small, ground-meat (or scrambled egg) like pieces in the pan, so you can start with the big chunk if you want. Add the tofu in to the pan and use spatula to break into pieces, as in the picture above, or smaller. Sprinkle with ground red pepper (cayenne) and cinnamon. When the water comes to a boil, add the linguine. Cook as directed. Slice mushrooms into small, thin pieces. Add to pan with tofu. (add more oil if necessary) Sprinkle with oregano and basil. Cook the tofu and mushrooms over medium to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Drain linguine, and then put the noodles back into the pot. Add the tofu/mushroom combination, followed by the arrabiata sauce and then a few spoonfuls of capers. Stir/fold to mix. Serve, and Enjoy!

For some laughs while you’re cooking. I was skyping my boyfriend while writing this, and he asked to be featured in my blog. He even posed. So, here ya go. World, meet Chris. 🙂