As a child, Asian noodles and Italian pasta were an intense obsession for me, both bringing great joys and some of the best memories in my life. As an adult though, I realized that a lot of those same dishes I loved were laden with grease and unhealthy calories. Not about to give up one of my greatest passions in life, I experimented in the kitchen, toiling for days before stumbling upon this amazingly simple yet explosively flavored pasta dish which marries Asian and Italian ingredients beautifully. Basil Tofu Linguine has fooled every single family and friend I’ve ever made it for into thinking that they are eating a rich, creamy pasta with some type of pesto and cheese sauce. Nobody can get enough of this and watch their reactions when you let them know that there’s not a drop of oil, butter or cheese in the recipe. Talk about a protein packed dish that tastes sinful.
1 box Linguine (substitute with your favorite pasta)
1 container silken tofu drained (12 to 18 ounces)
16 cloves peeled garlic
1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a vigorous boil. Add the box of linguine to the boiling water. Swirl a drizzle of olive oil into the boiling water to ensure that the linguine doesn’t stick together. Cook the linguine until al dente for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or follow directions on the box.
While the linguine is cooking, place the tofu, garlic and basil leaves in a food processor. Pulse a few times until thoroughly combined and smooth. The tofu pesto should be smooth, light green in color and have a pungent garlic scent.
In another pot or wok, heat the tofu pesto on high heat and stir for just about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
Drain the linguine from the boiling water and add to the tofu pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste, tossing the linguine and tofu pesto until thoroughly mixed. Serve immediately.