Tofu Scampi Makes the Cut!

I'm always trying new recipes. Some are amazing, some are not. I was hesitant to even try to make this tofu scampi recipe from The "V" Word because I have a serious "real" pasta weakness...always have. I try not to eat it too much, usually sticking with soba, quinoa or rice pastas, but eff that, even though this recipe called for rice noodles, I went with the real deal: organic semolina wheat linguini and, as suspected, it was AMAZING! And easy. I hate complicated dishes.

You could definitely make this a gluten-free dish by going the rice noodle route and I'm sure it's just as good, but I did not do that. You could also make this with vegan "shrimp" if you like them. Personally, I don't. They have the consistency of a pencil eraser (right, like you've never bitten into one) but hey, if you like that sort of thing, go for it! I'll stick to tofu for this one.

Be warned! This is addicting and has lots of calories, carbs and fat! All good fats, but yeah, still a lot. Every now and again won't hurt though!

Serves 3-4, depending on how hungry you are. Also, it holds up really well as leftovers.

For the marinade:

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
Zest and juice of one lemon (be sure to wash first!)
A pinch of red pepper flakes (I put 2-3)
Salt to taste and a couple of big pinches of fresh ground pepper to taste
1 block organic extra-firm tofu, cut into cubes

All the rest:
1 lb. organic linguini or whatever pasta you like
½ cup vegan white wine
½ cup reserved pasta water (don't space out and drain the pasta before reserving it like I've done!)
1 cup low-sodium vegetable or no-chicken broth (Better than Bullion is my fave)
Zest and juice of another lemon (again with the washing)
2 Tbs. vegan butter (optional)
½ cup fresh parsley plus 2 Tbs., chopped
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Vegan grated parmesan (optional, but good)
Lemon wedges for garnish (optional)

Marinating tofu 

In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the marinade. Let the shrimp or tofu sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes, stirring up a couple of times.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve about ½ cup of pasta water. Drain and set aside.

Mmmm, crispy tofu skrimps! 

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the tofu cubes from the marinade, shake off any excess and place them in the skillet. Cook for about 4 – 6 minutes or until they have browned a bit on all sides. I like when they get little burned bits here and there. Remove tofu from the skillet and set aside.

Cooking the sauce.

Add ½ cup white wine to the skillet and let cook until most of it evaporates. Add the remaining marinade to the skillet. Let it cook for 2 minutes. Add the reserved pasta water and the broth to the skillet. Lower the heat to medium-low. Add the zest and juice of the 2nd lemon to the sauce. Melt in the butter, if using and add the parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toss cooked pasta, sauce and tofu carefully. I'm using 
my nifty salad hands Jeff brought me from Hawaii.

Add the sauce to the pasta and toss to coat. Add the tofu back to the skillet to heat through quickly then add to pasta/sauce mixture, tossing gently, being careful not to break up the tofu. Top with remaining parsley and vegan grated Parmesan if you're using it. Serve with extra lemon wedges and crushed red peppers if desired then dig in!

If you too suffer from pasta addiction, don't say I didn't warn you! This stuff is GOOD!


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