Weekday Vegetarian: Smoked Tofu Carbonara
Photo: Kelly Rossiter
I follow a website called Stonesoup and the writer Jules Clancy has a brilliant series of recipes that use 5 ingredients and take 10 minutes to make. It's a site that is well worth visiting, especially if you want to cook healthy food at home but have a hectic schedule and not a lot of time. She also has quite a bit of information on the site, especially about living in a minimalist kitchen.
I wrote a couple of posts earlier this year for Planet Green on her take on what is absolutely necessary in a kitchen and what you can do without.I have always been curious about what smoked tofu would taste like and so when I found some in my grocery store I remembered this post on Stonesoup on smoked tofu and pasta. This was a bit of a revelation to me. I've always looked at tofu as a way to get delicious sauces into my mouth and get some protein while I do it. I think most people who don't like tofu are reacting to the texture, because it really doesn't have much flavour at all.
This stuff, however, was delicious. The other surprise for me was how much my husband loved it. I had trouble keeping him out of the cooked tofu while I was busy getting the rest of dinner together. It's a great substitute for bacon if you love that taste but don't want to eat meat. If you wanted to go outside the 5 ingredient regimen, you could add a green vegetable to this, maybe some Swiss chard or spinach that wouldn't be too overpowering.
Smoked Tofu Carbonara
7oz firm smoked tofu
2 egg yolks
2 handfuls finely grated parmesan
1/2 bunch chives, chopped
1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet directions.
2. Heat a large frying pan over a medium high heat with a few tablespoons peanut oil. Cut tofu into batons no larger than your pasta and pat dry with paper towel. Fry tofu until golden on all sides then transfer to a large warm bowl. Toss through egg yolks and cheese.
3. When the pasta is ready scoop out a little cooking water into a mug then drain the pasta. Toss hot pasta through the tofu mixture adding a little of the reserved cooking water if your pasta looks too dry. Toss through chives and serve hot with extra parmesan passed separately.