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
Tofu adapted from Mel's tofu bacon
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
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.
Are you a regular pasta eater? Any favourite types if so?