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Whole-Wheat Pasta with Tofu and Cucumber

Yield 4
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.

Ingredients

  • 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

How to Make It

  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.

  5. 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.

Quick From Scratch One-Dish Meals