Monday, August 26, 2013

Tofu Linguine Alfredo ... with Seitan!


I have been telling myself for years now that, one day, when I am old enough and rich enough to own a food processor, I will make myself tofu-based fettucini alfredo. And it will be glorious. How do I know this? I don't. I don't even remember the last time I had (real) fettucini alfredo. I have almost no idea what alfredo sauce tastes like. It has certainly been well over 10 years, but I'm wondering if I even ever had this dish, non-vegan style.

Not to be discouraged, I still lusted after this dish. It must be good -- creamy, milky, thick white sauce over pasta? I mean, just look at those Olive Garden ads. Tell me it won't be good! And that was my thinking. Or hungering. Or whatever. Sort of like how you think you know what seaweed tastes like, without ever eating it? And then one day you drink water from your elementary school's water fountain and you think: OH MY GOD! That's what seaweed tastes like! Disgusting! Thank goodness I never ate that!

Maybe that was just me. But, anyway, I would spend weeks trying to tell myself what alfredo sauce must taste like, and what it would taste like once I worked up the dough and tofu to make it.

So then, last Christmas, I got my food processor. And promptly discovered that food processors are... food processors. They are only that. When you buy a food processor, I'm sorry to tell you, you are not also automatically buying a blender. It doesn't work like that. And the words are not interchangeable. So all those years of lusting? Yeah, ruined. Because it turns out my tofu fettucini alfredo recipe requires a blender.

I gave up and used my mom's.

And then! The night of tofu alfredo... behold.

(Warning: these photos were taken with a phone and my shaky, blinded-with-hunger hands. Sorry!)

It's relatively quick, taking about 20 - 40 minutes to prepare. 20 if you're quick, 40 if you're obsessed, like me, with getting every smidgeon of tofu sludge out of the blender -- which is, of course, an impossible task. Here's how you do it:

Tofu [Fettucini / Spaghetti / Linguine] Alfredo with Seitan

Serves: 2 voraciously hungry people, 3 moderately hungry people, 4 only mildly hungry people

Note: this will use a lot of dishes. I'm sorry about that. If you do your best, you can get it down to 1 pot, 2 skillets, and 1 blender. I used... more than that.

** Remember that tofu devours seasonings, so don't be afraid to be a little generous with your basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Don't be too generous -- remember to taste-test frequently so you don't overdo it, but! be prepared to heap on them seasonings.


vegetable of your choice (mushrooms, spinach, peppers, green peas, broccoli are all great)

olive oil
4 cloves' worth of garlic
1/4 - 1/2 Cup non-dairy milk (soy, oat, almond, coconut...)
1/4 Cup nutritional yeast
1 - 2 Tbsp vegan parmesan (optional)
1/4 Cup basil, chopped finely -- you can be generous with these
1/4 Cup parsley, chopped finely -- you can be generous with these
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste

seitan (cubed)

Begin by heating some olive oil in a pan. Add your garlic and heat briefly, until just browned. Put your tofu and soymilk in the blender, and break the tofu block up once in the blender with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add garlic once cooled, and blend away to liquify your alfredo base. You may need to scrape down the sides and manually move the tofu sludge around a bit to make sure everything gets liquified evenly.

Now you should boil your water in a small pot in preparation for adding your pasta.

Pour your tofu mixture into a large pan with sides (can be the garlic one) and heat on med-low heat for about 8 - 10 minutes. Add nutritional yeast and parmesan (if using) and stir frequently. Make sure to keep an eye on your pasta-water: once boiling, add your pasta and set an alarm for when it will be done.

After the tofu base has spent 10 minutes thickening, add your chopped herbs and salt and pepper, and stir. Allow to cook for another 2 - 3 minutes. Taste test to make sure your herb and spice levels are appropriate for what you prefer. (You can also add the green peas now if you like).

Meanwhile, set up a separate skillet and add a tiny hint of olive oil. Heat oil over med-high heat. Place your seitan on the skillet, and allow to cook on all sides until just browned. You will need to keep an eye on the seitan so that it doesn't stick to the skillet.

Finally -- voila! Your pasta is ready, your alfredo sauce is ready, and your pan-seared seitan is ready! Drain your pasta, heap your alfredo right on top of it back in your pot, and mix it up. Serve the pasta alfredo with your seitan on the side, and whatever vegetables you like.

Enjoy! Yum :)

Pin It!