Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pasta with silken tofu sauce

I love TOFU more than I love a lot of things, except for my dog. Seriously, he is so cute I can barely stand it sometimes.

But I digress. Tofu can be used in just about every way imaginable - and comes in different forms (silken, soft, firm, extra firm, baked, smoked) to make it even more adaptable. I rarely cook pasta at home. Mainly because people assume that vegetarians/vegans eat a ton of pasta, and I don't buy that. This an old stand-by I've adapted throughout the years. It's one of my very favorite and fast recipes. The sauce is incredibly creamy and rich - but it's full of great, healthy, soy protein. The sauce is served cold-ish over warm noodles. You MUST try this.

4 peeled medium shallots (or I use a red onion if I don't have shallots on hand)
2 tsp olive oil
8 oz silken tofu, about 1 cup (1 aseptic box of silken mori-nu works for me)
1/2 cup(s) basil leaves
1/4 cup(s) herb of choice (I like cilantro and kale, but parsley or watercress work as well)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
Pinch Na++ (salt for all you lay people out there)
Pinch pepper
PASTA - nice and hot. The sauce makes enough for 4 - so plan accordingly.


Preheat oven to 450°F and start boiling some salted water.

Put shallots or onion on some tin foil. Cover them with some oil. I just kind of ball up my tin foil but I suppose you could be neat and make a little pouch if you want to be a kitchen overachiever. Roast about 25 minutes - but I just take mine out when everything else is done. I'm flexible, and maybe you should work on that too. Make sure you don't put your face all up in there when you open that "pouch", or you'll get a steam burn - and use oven mitts for crying out loud.

Meanwhile - assemble the sauce. Put tofu and herbs in a food processor and whir it for 15-20 seconds. Scrape that mess down, and add the lemon juice and toasty onions/shallots. Whir that sucker again, and TASTE it. (My only tip to beginning cooks - taste as you go!) Determine the amount of salt and pepper it needs to be up to your standards. Whir it one more time, and you're good to go! You have a nice, creamy delicious silken tofu sauce that tastes way richer than it actually is.
Split between 4 servings and you're done! The hardest part is cleaning your food processor!

*** NOTE - you can use SOFT tofu for this recipe- but it will not be as delicious and creamy. Just sayin'

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