The tofu is mixed with umeboshi paste and tahini to give it a slightly salty, zesty edge, but if you don't have umeboshi paste you could probably substitute some lemon juice and miso or salt. Umeboshi paste, plums and vinegar are very useful flavoring items. Used primarily in Japanese cooking, they make interesting additions to salad dressings and other dishes. I use it when I make sushi and it's great in the summer on fresh corn on the cob. In addition to being delicious, umeboshi is supposed to have health benefits, especially as an aid to digestion.
Pasta with roasted butternut squash
- 1 small butternut squash (about 1-1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled and lightly crushed
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or sage, or 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 to 1 pound pasta
- 3-1/2 to 4 ounces firm or extra firm water packed tofu (I used 1/4 of a 14 ounce package)
- 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons umeboshi paste (I used 1-1/2)
- 1 teaspoon sesame tahini
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 450˚ Cover a baking sheet with foil.
- In a bowl, toss the squash with the garlic, pepper, herbs and i tablespoon of oil until the squash is coated with oil. Transfer to the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until tender and caramelized. Remove from the heat and transfer the squash to a wide serving bowl. Squeeze out the roasted garlic and add to the bowl, tossing gently with the squash. Keep warm.
- While the squash is roasting, bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Aim to have the pasta cooked just after the squash is ready.
- Add about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water to the squash.
- Drain the pasta and and add it with the tofu (see below), to the squash.
- Mix the noodles and tofu gently with the squash, remaining tablespoon of oil and the parsley.