Thursday, May 23, 2013

Angel hair spaghetti with roast peppers, basil, and tofu bacon

After more than two years of blogging, this is the first spaghetti recipe to grace my pages. Prior to this, my pasta efforts have been limited to one (very dated, very early!) ginger noodle recipe, one chocolate pasta recipe, and one Thai and rice noodle salad recipe. There has also been a zucchini noodle dish, but that's not really the same.


What triggered this sudden welcoming of pasta? To be truthful, I don't even know. The idea of the dish just wafted to me. I followed the line of thought, and so it was made.

I do actually eat pasta quite regularly, as it features in one of the two dishes Mr Bite rotates through when he cooks on a Friday night. This is fairly relevant to my lack of pasta posting, as fortnightly is about the frequency that I want to eat pasta. As it is provided for me at that frequency, I rarely feel the need to pursue making it myself. The logic!


For this dish, though, I will make an exception. For one, it uses angel hair spaghetti, which I like more than regular spaghetti, and only partially because of its excellent name. For two, it has peppers roasted in flames to make them sweet and soft and wonderful. For three, it has tofu bacon, or at least a variation thereof. That alone would probably have done. But, for four, it has basil. And I can't see or type or think the word basil without thinking of Basil Fawlty. I've haven't actually watched much Fawlty Towers, but I know enough to have Basil (Basil!) spring to mind when basil is mentioned.

The tofu in this dish is an adaptation of Mel's tofu bacon, but without the liquid smoke as I wasn't sure if smoky flavours would go with pepper and basil flavours. They probably would, so feel free to follow her original recipe instead of my slightly modified version below.


Angel hair spaghetti with roast peppers, basil and tofu bacon
Vegan
Tofu adapted from Mel's tofu bacon
Serves 3


Ingredients
1 350g block firm tofu
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
About 250g dry angel hair spaghetti (half a 500g packet)
2 medium red peppers
1 large bunch fresh basil, roughly chopped

Pepper, to taste

Method
Slice the tofu into medium slices and press using a tofu press or between tea towels and chopping boards for at least 15 minutes. 

Whilst the tofu is pressing, combine the soy sauce, water, maple syrup, nutritional yeast, tomato sauce, paprika and oregano in a shallow dish. Add the tofu and marinate for at least 30 minutes (longer would no doubt be better).

When the tofu has marinated, heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and cook the tofu strips for several minutes on each side, until golden and starting to crisp up. Reserve the marinade sauce. Set aside once cooked.

Meanwhile, cut each pepper into approximately four slices and heat over the flames of your stove top. If you don't have an open-flame gas stove top, you could also grill the peppers in an oven or on a stove-top grill. Cook until the skin starts to blacken, turning regularly. (I literally put my pepper slices into the flames.)

When the peppers are cooked, rub off the blackened skins and slice into strips. Add to the non-stick pan that the tofu was cooked in, along with the tofu and enough extra marinade to avoid the ingredients sticking. Keep over low heat while you cook the pasta.

Bring a pot of water to the boil, add the spaghetti, and cook for 2 minutes or until just done. Drain, then add the peppers, tofu and chopped basil, along with any remaining marinade mix. Stir through over low heat and serve.

Top with black pepper and extra basil as desired.


'Twas excellent.

Are you a regular pasta eater? Any favourite types if so?

35 comments:

  1. Angel hair spaghetti, tofu bacon and peppers roasted over an open flame are three things I have never, ever tried! I think this should be remedied v soon, so this will be the perfect dish to kill 2, no, 3! birds with one stone. (I always use that saying, but it really is quite brutal isn't it!)

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    1. It is, but also very effective ;) I highly recommend all three of the ingredients whether you do them in one throw or separately!

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  2. fi fi surely there is no meal that can't be improved with some smokiness :-) Seriously looks very yummy. We had tofu bacon on soup tonight and it was excellent.

    I feel a bit the same as you about pasta - E makes it for lunch regularly - well on weekends and if he is home during the week - so I often feel there has been enough pasta about the house and use it less. I have had a hankering for veg bolognaise lately and feel it will be a meal we will eat soon. I don't know if I have ever cooked with angel hair pasta but I can see the attraction and I think maybe I need to buy it just to amuse sylvia with the name

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    1. I think E and Mr Bite have similar pasta intakes ;) It does reduce my enthusiasm for it but like you with the veg bolognaise, every now and then a hankering will hit. I think you've convinced me the smokiness would have worked in this too!

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  3. I love spaghetti bolognaise, lasagne and a well made gnocchi.

    This recipe looks yum!

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  4. This looks so good - so bright and colourful. I like pasta because it is quick and easy, and the combinations of flavours are limitless.

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    1. I do love how easy it is - we often have it on holidays if we self-cater and I think there's a good reason for that ;)

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  5. i looooooooooooooooove tofu bacon
    and pasta
    and roasted capsicum.....
    yep making this for lunch 2morrow! THANKS :D

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    1. Oh, fantastic! I hope you enjoy it :-)

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  6. I love angel's hair pasta too and also because of its name (not just because of its quick cooking time!) And I can't believe this is the first pasta you have shown on your blog! As for me, I need to try tofu bacon xx

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    1. I can't quite believe it either Charlie! Perhaps I'll get on a roll now and make up for lost time :)

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  7. okay tofu bacon is new to me but this dish sounds wonderful!

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    1. I think I've been a bit flexible with the term 'tofu bacon' here as usually it includes liquid smoke, and I suspect the smokiness is actually quite key to the 'bacon' part. Still, with or without the smoky flavour, it is delicious!

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  8. Now were talking my language here. I love pasta! Angel hair is one of my favorites too. The dish I most like to make is angel hair, peas and bacon. I also add bell peppers and lots of onions and garlic in a creamy sauce. It is to die for!!!

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    1. I think I like your language ;)

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  9. Dude, NO ONE seemed to get my "Ba-SIIIIIL!" shout-out in a recent post of mine. It made me SO sad.

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    1. What is the world coming to. Rest assured I got it, and I loved it :-)

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  10. This sounds really lovely, I love angel hair pasta more than regular spaghetti too! I have used tofu bacon with a smoky, creamy nut based alfredo sauce and always add some fresh basil (or pesto) so that combination works for me. It's one of the pasta dishes we have been eating on a semi-regular basis for years as the sauce is done in the blender so it's a quick and tasty dinner that everyone enjoys.

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    1. Mm, now I think I need to try another tofu bacon / basil mix with the smoke included! I've never really enjoyed creamy pasta sauces, but then I've never made a vegan version. Next time...

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  11. angel hair is my fav type of pasta and this looks yummy!

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  12. Sounds GOOD - I hardly ever eat pasta actually.... I like rice noodles or mung beans noodles but wheat pasta doesn't seem to agree with me unfortunately. Love the combination of the smoky peppers & tofu!

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    1. I have never had mung bean noodles but the rice variety are one of my favourites when I do bother with noodles :) I'm sure you could take this topping and put it on a different base!

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  13. Oh this sounds really delicious~I really love angel hair too because it's so fine and catches so much of the flavors and sauces in the dish.

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    1. It does indeed! I didn't realise how much before I made this :)

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  14. I haven't been craving pasta as much as usual either, so I don't know what's up with that. I could definitely be won over by tofu bacon and basil and roasted red peppers, though!

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  15. MMMMMM...I love red peppers! Looks delicious. I'm also going to have to try that tofu bacon.

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  16. This looks really delicious Kari! I love angel hair pasta too and it's probably my favorite kind of pasta :)

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    1. I think it might be mine now as well!

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  17. This reminds me of a very Asian inspired pasta but I love it. When it said tofu bacon I was a bit skeptical because I don't like the taste of meat, let alone fake meat! I have been trying to get into tofu and these flavours look like they would go really well!

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    1. To be honest, I use the name because others do, but I think I can count on one hand how many times I've eaten bacon in my life, and I can't even remember when it last once (probably about age 12!). So I have no idea if it actually tastes of bacon, but from what I've read, it's the salty/smoky flavour mix that makes it reminiscent of that. I just like it :)

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  18. Ha ha! I found this when I typed in"red spaghetti in my hair", which I searched for because my husband says his colleague wears a stylish red spaghetti looking hair piece sometimes.

    Random.

    So excited am I to try making this though because it just so happens that I am a vegan! (And it looks gorgeous, and I am unashamedly a tofu lover) I do believe us vegans are starting to take over the world!! :))

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