Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pasta with Marinated Grilled Tofu

I had never ever dreamed of making a marinade in my life. Being a vegetarian, why would I ever need to marinate anything? I still watched those foodnetwork shows and didn't pay too much of attention except for the fact that I understood that a basic marinade needs some acid, oil, salt, pepper, sugar and seasonings of your choice. And to top this, I had bought a box of 6 pounds of Organic firm tofu which was sitting in the refrigerator unopened till yesterday. You probably think why on earth did she buy so much of tofu. Well, for one I had plans of making something new with it and the other reason being it cost me only 4.49, can you beat that price?

So, here goes my recipe and to be honest, I really liked the outcome. And the best part was, it was so filling for a long time after eating and full of protein. But I did have a challenge of making my husband like it too. His main complaint about pasta is it doesn't absorb the flavor very well compared to for example rice does and I don't blame him. When I saw the pasta 'Acini De Pepe' which are bead like, I had to try it. It almost looks like not so white sabudana/sago/tapioca pearls when cooked and since they are small, when you take a bite with other veggies and tofu, the flavor will come along. And that is exactly what happened.
 
Ingredients:


For the marinade:
  • Red Wine vinegar - 6 TBSP
  • Olive oil - 6 TBSP
  • Salt - to taste I used about 3/4 tsp
  • Cayanne powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli flakes - 1 tsp
  • Garlic - 2 pods crushed
  • Dill - two sprigs chopped finely

For the Pasta:
  • Firm Tofu - 1 1/2 pounds
  • Acini De pepe pasta - 1 cup (You can use any small sized pasta like macaroni, pennette etc)
  • Scallions - 2 bunches both green and white parts chopped
  • Olive oil - 1 tsp
  • Garlic - 2 pods crushed
  • Dill - one medium size bunch chopped
  • Salt - to taste
  • Cayanne - 1/2 tsp or to taste
  • Red chilli flakes - 1 tsp or to taste (I recommend using hot sauce instead to get extra kick if you like it spicier)

Method:

Drain tofu and place on couple of paper towels or on a clean kitchen towel. Cover with some more paper towels and place some weight on the top. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Slice the blocks horizontall so that you get blocks of tofu which are just 1/2 - 3/4" thick. In a bowl, whisk all the ingredients mentioned in the marinade except olive oil. Add oil at the end and whisk together. Place all the tofu blocks in a ziploc bag and pour the marinade into the bag. Let it sit for at least 3 hours or preferably over night in the refrigerator.

And look at those beautiful grill marks..

When you are ready to assemble the meal, cook pasta in enough salted water and drain. Reserve some of the pasta water. Keep aside. Grill the tofu on the grill or if you don't have one, you can do it on an iron skillet. I grilled on both the sides and then cut into cubes. I then poked them through skewer grilled sides facing each other so that other sides will get browned. I then placed the skewers on the grill and rotated at equal intervals so that all sides get browned. When they are ready, set aside.


In a pan, heat one tsp of oil and when hot, add garlic, scallions and saute till done. The beauty of marinading the tofu is you can use the leftover juice from marinading (unlike the marinade used to marinate meat which should be discarded). Pour the remaining marinade if any on to the skillet and let it evaporate. Add chopped dill and salt to taste and mix well. Add hot sauce if using or chilli flakes, cayanne and mix well. Mix in the pasta and the grilled tofu cubes and stir. If you feel pasta is too dry, add some reserved pasta water to make it right consistency. Serve hot or warm. Left overs can be reheated and served. It was a very nice one dish meal.

Happy Cooking!! Pin It

15 comments:

  1. sigh! I still cannot get myself to like Tofu. I forced myself to eating it, when we went to a restaurant yesterday. Not bad I shoud say. Loved your idea of marinating, Champa. (I am like you, being a vegetarian never marinated anything)

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  2. That is quite an innovative technique dear. Love the marinated grilled tofu and pasta.

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  3. Wow looks fab! Loved the dill falvour in this..
    Gald to follow you..

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  4. I just love Tofu and this marinating idea is simple and it is tempting me.

    Will definitely give a try.

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  5. wow, what a recipe, a must try, I have only tried chinese recipes with tofu, I have to try this pasta as well. I got some macaroni at home, so will bring tofu and try it out, thanks for posting this.

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  6. Like the idea of marinating tofu and grilling it. Looks YUMM

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  7. Thats a fantastic pasta dish, loved ur idea of marinating the tofu..those cute pasta are really catchy..

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  8. Hi there, I sent you an entry for the bake-off event for this Fri...sent it two or three days back...hope you got it!

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  9. Very yummy yummy and new to me...looks fab.

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  10. wow this is a totally new recipe for me..... very creative! there is an award for you in my blog, please get it :)

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  11. The recipe seems too tempting with especially my favorite tofu

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  12. Wow all are looks yummy.. following you

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