Tofu is a terrific source of plant-based protein. Unlike other sources of protein however, tofu can be used in a variety of ways that hide or mask it. This “sneaky” element allows for tofu to be transformed in many ways, such as in sauces and puddings.
While the process of draining and cooking tofu isn’t difficult, many newcomers to tofu can be intimidated by it. That is why using tofu in a sauce like the Tofu Pesto recipe below is the perfect solution!
This Tofu Pesto Pasta combines a creamy pesto sauce that is made from tofu along with your pasta of choice. Traditional pesto sauce can be quite caloric and high in fat but this Tofu Pesto sauce is neither.
Using tofu as the main ingredient provides a creamy base while traditional pesto ingredients such as basil, parmesan, nuts and olive oil help the sauce to hold true to the original pesto flavor.
This recipe is easily adaptable depending on dietary needs. If you are vegan or dairy-free simply swap out the parmesan for nutritional yeast or another dairy-free cheese alternative.
The walnuts can also be swapped out for another nut dependent upon what you have available to you, however a harder nut like an almond may not yield such a smooth sauce as the one below.
Tofu Pesto Pasta
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup firm tofu
3 tablespoons parmesan
2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces gluten-free pasta or pasta of choice
1. Place all sauce ingredients into a food processor. Process on high until smooth.
2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ½ to 1 cup of pasta water.
3. Drain pasta and place back into its pot. Add as much or as little pesto sauce as desired, adding a little pasta water at a time to help mix and distribute the sauce evenly.
4. Serve sprinkle with fresh parsley and extra pepper if desired.