I have the yummiest meatless struggle plate going on right now. Did you make that fennel apple salad with orange poppy seed vinaigrette the other day? Good. You have leftover vinaigrette. You are about to use it to make the most slurptastic no meat pasta with crispy tofu and orange sauce. Not into tofu? Use leftover chicken, or whatever you have…or nothing. Slurp the noodles and sauce on their own, this is that good.
There is 100% chance you will eat this standing over the sink, silence in the house because everyone is busy slurping. I’m pretty sure whatever you can do to invoke silence today from the family will be well received. Whoever thought leftover orange poppy seed vinaigrette would work on pasta?!? It does! You know what’s even better..I smothered it with feta, pine nuts, and a little fresh parsley.
You can really stretch this by adding more tofu (the whole block), or chicken. You know you will get all the tofu anyways after your husband and kids scrape it around the plate, so add as much or as little as you want. It might make you not want to practice social distancing from them year round.
How To Make No Meat Pasta With Crispy Tofu And Orange Sauce
If you can’t find meat in your local store, it’s totally okay. Most people aren’t hoarding tofu. Meatless Monday might be our new normal. Start by cubing the tofu and getting it on a baking sheet. Toss it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and get it in the oven. Cook the pasta in a skillet, it goes faster that way. Just cover it with water, add fresh spinach or frozen if that’s what you have. Actually, just go ahead and substitute anything you have that’s green.
The key here is to really stir the noodles vigorously toward the end, this will release a lot of gluten and help bind the vinaigrette to the noodles.
Stir in the vinaigrette and tofu, bowl it up and then smother it with toasted pine nuts and feta crumbles. Don’t have pine nuts? Use walnuts. Missing feta crumbles? Substitute queso fresco or mozzarella. This is a versatile no meat struggle bowl.Print
A versatile recipe where you can use what you have on hand. Whole wheat pasta, crispy garlic tofu, in the yummiest orange poppy seed vinaigrette. Smother it with toasted pine nuts, and crumbled feta cheese. This recipe makes 3 small bowls of pasta, scale as needed.
FOR THE PASTA:
6 oz linguini pasta (I used whole wheat)
4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
4oz fresh or frozen spinach
FOR THE TOFU:
1/2 block tofu, cubed
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
sprinkle salt and pepper
FOR THE SAUCE: (this makes about 1.5 cups of dressing, you won’t use all of it)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp orange zest
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp poppy seeds
1/4 cup light mayonnaise (or regular)
FOR THE TOPPING:
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Preheat oven to 450°
Toss tofu with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, garlic powder
Place on a baking sheet, and bake for 17 minutes
In a skillet, add water and pasta
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer (medium)
Stir in fresh spinach, if using frozen stir it in and then bring to a boil again before reducing heat.
Once the water has reduced by half or three quarters, begin stirring the pasta vigorously. You will release more and more gluten, do this for around 5 minutes.
Once water has evaporated and pasta looks creamy, stir in 1/2 cup sauce
Reduce heat to low and continue to stir vigorously until sauce begins to thicken.
Top with crumbled feta, toasted pine nuts, and fresh parsley
HOW TO TOAST PINE NUTS:
In a small skillet, add pine nuts.
Turn heat to medium and watch VERY closely, one nuts begin to brown and smell fragrant, remove from heat.
Tofu // Chicken
Pine Nuts // Walnuts
Orange // Lemon
Feta // Queso Fresco, Goat Cheese, Mozzarella
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: vegetarian pasta, crispy tofu, orange poppy seed, easy linguini, easy pasta dinner, pantry dinner pasta, staying in, cooking at home, cheap dinners, vegetarian dinner