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CREAMY PEA AND SMOKEY BACON PENNE
Bacon you say? Cream you say? If it sounds too good to be true, believe us when we say that proof is in the plant-based pasta. The tofu “bacon” lardons were a roaring success when we first served this, they had such a smokey flavour and mouthwatering crunch, we had to stop ourselves eating them all. Don’t worry though, we saved you some.
Tofu Bacon Lardons
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 450g smoked firm tofu
- 25g cornflour
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked salt (or normal salt)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 200ml vegan cream (we used Oat)
- 3 tbsp vegan cream cheese
- 200g garden peas (defrosted)
- 400g whole wheat penne pasta
- 10g parsley leaves
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (& to sprinkle)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Tofu press
- Frying pan
- Kettle (boiled)
First, prepare the tofu bacon lardons. Press the tofu in a tofu press - the drier the tofu, the better. Put the cornflour, smoked paprika, garlic powder and salt into a mixing bowl and mix together with a fork. Add the tofu cubes to the bowl and roll in the dry mix, making sure they’re well covered. Transfer the tofu lardons to a plate. Drizzle the 2 tablespoons maple syrup and soy sauce over the prepared tofu cubes and set to one side.
Time to cook. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions (approx 9 minutes in salted boiling water). Warm the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the tofu cubes to the pan and gently stir for 8-9 minutes until the tofu has warmed through and the coating is developing a crunchy crust.
Add the vegan cream and vegan cream cheese to the pan, stir and bring to a very gentle simmer. Add the peas and the pasta to the pan and fold them into the pan to combine (add a little pasta water to loosen the sauce if needs be). Taste the sauce and season to perfection with salt and pepper (lots of pepper!).
Time to serve. Spoon the Creamy Pea and Smokey Bacon Penne into bowls. Garnish with parsley, nutritional yeast, black pepper and serve immediately with a simple mixed leaf salad.