Did you know that in China you don’t usually have tofu that’s older than a day? I learned that from a Chinese friend of mine and maybe that’s the main reason why I haven’t been that keen on those shop-bought tofus that you find here in England. You know those tofu packs sitting next to the vegetarian meatballs and other weird looking over processed vegetarian meat substitutes? Yak. Having said that, that’s what we got available and so once again, I decided to try and make tofu taste delicious. And I think that with this pasta arrabbiata recipe with spicy tofu, I succeeded (even if I do say so myself).
First of all, you need to use firm tofu for this recipe. I know in many recipes they advice you to dry the tofu in many different ways but I don’t have the patience for that so I just pour out the water and then pat dry the tofu with some kitchen towels and press it between the towels so that most of the excess liquid comes out. That’s it.
Second, seasoning is key to make tofu taste anything. Here I used salt, dried thyme and chili flakes for the spiciness. Again, the longer you let the tofu to marinate, the better but as I’m not that organised, I just season the tofu first and then let it sit for whatever time it takes for me to do the rest (in this case, I guess it’s about 20minutes or so).
This tofu recipe is unlike most of my other recipes because here the tofu is not marinated with any sauce, like tamari sauce which I often use. And I think, that’s the beauty of this recipe too. Somehow it makes even the shop-bought tofu taste fresher.
I thought this pasta arrabbiata recipe with spicy tofu was worth saving because it definitely is a new twist to the more traditional pasta arrabbiata dishes. And also, because I managed to capture a pretty picture of it. And also, and most importantly, because it tastes good!
So I hope you enjoy it too xx
Ps. I used real Parmiggiano in my dish but you can easily make this recipe vegan by leaving the cheese out or substituting it with a vegan alternative.
- ca 400g firm tofu
- 250g pasta
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- Sea salt
- 2 tsp chili flakes
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 yellow onion
- 200ml white wine
- 100g tomato paste
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 2 handfuls of chopped pistachios
- Optional: Parmiggiano
- Finely chop the garlic and yellow onion.
- Take the tofu out of the package and pat dry with kitchen towels. Cut it into bite sized pieces and in a medium bowl, toss the tofu pieces with half of the garlic, the chili flakes, thyme and 2 teaspoons of salt. Let rest while you do the rest.
- In a large saucepan, heat 1tbsp of olive oil. Add the chopped onion, the remaining garlic and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the wine and simmer until evaporated, about another 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, 200ml water and basil and bring to a boil. Let simmer over moderately low heat keeping the sauce warm while cooking the rest. (Add water if the sauce begins to dry)
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the tofu and cook over moderate heat until browned on the other side, about 2 minutes. Flip the tofu and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned all over, about 3 minutes longer. Keep warm.
- In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente.
- Add the pasta to the sauce and fold in the tofu. Season with salt if necessary.
- Transfer to a platter and top with chopped pistachios and parmiggiano flakes (if using)
- Enjoy straight away.