Whole-Wheat Pasta with Tofu and Cucumber

Food & Wine
An updated pasta salad--whole-wheat spaghetti served at room temperature with sautéed tofu, cucumbers, scallions, and an Asian dressing--makes a delicious warm-weather meal, reminiscent of Japanese soba-noodle dishes.
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Ingredients

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3/4 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
1 1/4 pounds firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons soy sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 scallions including green tops, sliced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or fresh parsley

Preparation

1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 15 minutes. Drain the pasta. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the tofu with the 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of the grated ginger. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

3. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the remaining 2 teaspoons ginger and 4 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cooking oil, the vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil, lemon zest, salt, and cayenne.

4. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon cooking oil over moderate heat. Add the tofu and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add the tofu, pasta, cucumbers, scallions, and cilantro to the dressing in the large bowl and toss.

Wine Recommendation: The crisp citrus tang of a German riesling spätlese halbtrocken is just right for this summery dish and its Asian flavors. Halbtrocken means half dry, or just a little sweet. Try one from the Pfalz, where the sunny climate yields fruity wines.

Created date

June 2004