Sunday 14 September 2008

PPN: Soy bombs with two tomato sauces

On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese
I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed
It rolled off the table and onto the floor
And then my poor meatball rolled out of the door
So if you ever have spaghetti all covered with cheese
Hold onto your meatballs and don’t ever sneeze

We sang this song with great gusto at primary school. It was sung to the tune of On Top of Old Snowy. Imagine a class of little kids yelling out the last line with more concern for loudness than tune. That was my class.

This seems like a song of simpler times when our main concerns were hygiene. Lactose-free and gluten-free diets were virtually unheard of. I can’t remember anyone being vegetarian or vegan at the time. Though, I might have quite happily taken up a vegetarian diet to avoid having to eat meat if I had thought it possible.

More recently when I saw Cindy making soy bombs, I was amused by the name and enticed by her enthusiasm for them. I subsequently saw Frances and AOF enjoy versions of them. I noticed that Frances used egg to bind them and I understand because mine were on the crumbly side and one or two collapsed in the frypan. While they seemed fine finger food for entertaining, I fancied serving them on top of spaghetti and this song kept running through my mind. Try singing it with soy bomb instead of meatball - it works!

If I was going to serve them on spaghetti, I also needed a sauce to serve with them. I found a recipe for a roasted tomato sauce from Cranks Fast Food (by Nadine Abenseur) that I had scribbled down months ago and decided to try it. Its simplicity attracted me.

Although I had notes to say the tomato sauce served 2 people, I think it would easily serve four. The sauce was delicious but the spaghetti was a little drowned under the generous helping. The soy balls had great flavour and texture but a little went a long way. I served some broccoli on the side which was just as well because otherwise dinner would have been a bit intense.

After we had finished eating I remembered that I had forgotten to serve it ‘all covered with cheese’. More respectful to the vegan nature of the soy bombs but this song had given me visions that were not realised.

A couple of nights later we still had lots of soy bombs left and it was the day before I headed off to Hobart and needed to empty the fridge. I emptied the fridge and made another roasted tomato sauce that I loved. I enjoyed it more because it had more variety of vegetables and hence more flavour. But it was every bit as simple as the previous sauce, even easier because there was no pureeing. I even had some sauce and a soy ball leftover for a small meal the following night before heading off into the world of airplane catering. When will airlines learn that food can taste this good!

I am sending this post to Psychgrad of Equal Opportunity Kitchen who is hosting this week’s Presto Pasta Nights, the event which was started by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast.

Soy Bombs
(adapted from Post Punk Kitchen via Where’s the Beef?)
Makes about 18 balls – enough for 6 servings with pasta

375g firm tofu, crumbled
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted peanut butter
3/8 cup breadcrumbs
fresh basil or other chopped herbs (I didn’t use)
plain flour for coating bombs
about 1/3 cup vegetable oil for frying

Mix all ingredients (except flour and oil). Roll into balls of about 3cm diameter (I found mine a little on the crumbly side). Place flour in a bowl and toss balls in flour to coat.

Pour oil into a non-stick frypan (about 2mm deep) and heat to not quite smoking. Try one soy bomb and if it sizzles add the remaining bombs (if not heat the oil more). Turn with tongs after a minute or two and then turn fairly frequently til browned all over. Mine absorbed most of the oil. Drain on kitchen paper.

Alternately you can bake the soy bombs for 20-30 minutes but according to Cindy’s partner in the kitchen, Michael, they will be drier.

Serve with spaghetti and tomato sauce (see recipes below) or as finger food.

Roasted tomato sauce
(adapted from Cranks Fast Food)
Serves 3-4

500g ripe tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Sea salt, black pepper
Sugar (optional)
Fresh basil or teaspoon of pesto

Place all ingredients except basil or pesto in a roasting dish. Roast at 230 C for about 20 minutes. Blend and stir in basil or pesto. Serve over pasta.

Roasted tomato capsicum and cauliflower sauce
Serves 3-4

4 tomatoes, diced
½ cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 red capsicum, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Pinch salt
Olive oil for roasting
½ cup chopped kalamata olives
2-4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1-2 tbsp finely chopped chives

Toss tomatoes, cauliflower, capsicum, and garlic with salt and a drizzle of oil. Roast for 40 minutes in oven at 220 C. Stir in olives. Serve on pasta, scatter with cheese and chives.

On the Stereo:

Exodus: Bob Marley


  1. These sound really interesting and Ilove the name too. I need some extra help in liking tofu and am constantly searching for new recipes.

  2. I like the name too! I've made spaghetti and sauce with veggie ground round, but have never attempted anything like a soy bomb. Looks like a good option when I have guests over who don't eat meat.

    Thanks for the great submission to PPN!

  3. I've been dying to try these out. Had something similar at a tasting festival in Edinburgh during the summer and they were amazing.

  4. recently found your blog and LOVE IT.
    and omg - those look SO good!

  5. These sound like something I'd really love! Must give them a try. After all, they're the (soy) bomb! (groan--couldn't help myself. . . ). ;)

  6. thanks Helen - the name is great - Cindy got it from a song but it is so inspired that I love it too (very much in the post punk kitchen spirit)

    thanks psychgrad - 'vegie ground round' - is that some sort of tvp? am curious about your balls now - and yes I would serve these to guests

    thanks Wendy - they aren't that hard - although I found juggling with doing the sauce and pasta a bit of an effort - but had lots of leftovers to try them different ways which was fun

    thanks Kristen - glad you love these - and thanks for your kind words on the site - nice to have you visit

    thanks Ricki - I think they would be right up your alley - and am sure you could have lots of fun with the name :-)

  7. Oh Joanna that tomato, pepper, cauliflower sauce sounds excellent with any 'ball'! Think I'd like me some of that.
    We sang that song in high school in the bus on the way to games! And yes always the last line was loud, tune didn't count there.

  8. We used to sing that song too! I made something like this a while back and was staggered at how filling it was when combined with spaghetti and sauce - definitely needed a while to sit and digest afterwards! I like how easy the sauces are - will definitely make a note to try these.

  9. These sound great. Love the little song, hopefully you didn't sneeze over yours :)

  10. Glad they worked out well this way - they are rich and I agree that a little goes a long way, especially when paired with spaghetti sauce!

    I like the new soy bomb song. Around here Michael has a habit of singing Tom Jones' "Sex bomb" as "Soy Bomb"! Ha, that reminds me of when Thanh went mad for soy songs a few months back...

  11. thanks Tanna - that song would be excellent on the bus

    thanks Lysy - I needed a lie down on the couch after first eating them and then scaled down the helpings :-)

    thanks Katie - pleased to report no sneezing over the soy bombs :-)

    thanks Cindy - great recipe and great name - that Tom Jones song version made me laugh and when I told E he obliged me with a rendition :-)

  12. Aren't these little gems wonderful? I made them last week, although it took me two goes to get the recipe right. My first try was more like soy crumble - couldn't get the mixture to clump together. But after some advice from Cindy in the comments section, the second go was marvellous.

    I haven't thought to have them with spaghetti & sauce - I particularly like the sound of your second choice. Yum roasted cauliflower.

  13. They look lovely Johanna! I regularly make tofu and it it alwys good to have more ideas of what to do with it.

    What are the balls like cold dipped in the tomato sauce? I am always after good ideas for packed lunches.

  14. Those look great! I am drooling here! Nice presentation too!

    You forgot my favourite line.

    On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese
    I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed
    It rolled off the table and onto the floor
    And then my poor meatball rolled out of the door

    It rolled down the garden and under a bush
    And then my poor meatball was nothing but moosh!

    You have given me a good laugh, but Graham is going to hate you for reminding me of this song. I am sure to keep singing it now LOL!

  15. thanks Kathryn - yes, they are so tasty - I found they were a little reluctant to stick together but did just enough - on the third night I mashed them up with the tomato and cauli sauce and they were great crumbled too

    thanks Hippolyra - yes I would eat these cold dipped in sauce - I think they would make for great lunchtime eats (I was tempted to eat these cold myself after a little taste when they had cooled)

    Thanks Holler - I had forgotten that line but I have heard it before - thanks for the reminder - enjoy your sing song - tell graham he will have fun too if he just joins in :-)


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