I bought a huge bunch of basil recently for a recipe and I had a bunch left over, so I thought I'd make some pesto with the rest of it. I mentioned it to the boy and he said there was some chicken pesto monstrosity that he enjoyed from a deli, and wanted to know if I could do pesto seitan or tofu or something. I decided on tofu since I thought it would adapt better to pesto that seitan. I think of seitan as more of an alfredo protein. All the pesto recipes I found called for tons of oil and more basil than I had, so I kind of winged it with what I had around the house. It came out REALLY yummy and the whole dish was delicious, though it doesn't photograph so well!
Pesto Pasta with Baked Pesto Tofu, Roasted Cauliflower, and Zucchini
2 cups basil, packed
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup vegetable broth
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt/pepper to taste
1. In a small saucepan, heat the oil on low with the crushed garlic. Turn the garlic occasionally until it's light brown and fragrant. *
2. Put the basil, garlic infused olive oil, as much garlic as you want from it, broth, pine nuts, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste, adjust seasoning, blend, taste again, until desired flavor is reached. Refrigerate or freeze until you're ready to use it.
The Tofu Part
1 lbs tofu, drained, pressed, cubed
3-4 tbsp pesto
1. Toss the tofu with the pesto and refrigerate, covered, overnight to marinate.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake the tofu on a non-stick spray sprayed baking sheet for 30 minutes, turning several times, until it begins to tan.
The Veggie Part
1/2 head cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces
1 zucchini, cut into half moons.
1 tsp olive oil
1. Lightly spray the cauliflower pieces with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.
2. Bake in a 425 degree oven until soft and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Turn halfway through.
3. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet and sautee zucchini until just tender. About 3 minutes.
The Pasta Part
8 oz fettucini or the pasta of your choice
1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
1. Toss cooked pasta with another 3-4 tbsp of pesto... or more or less depending on your taste. Fold in the tofu and veggies. Nom.
* I cook the garlic because raw garlic doesn't agree with me. If you like raw garlic, or are indifferent or lazy, you can skip this step.