Spicy Tahini Pasta with Crispy Tofu
Inspired by Asian and Middle Eastern flavors, this plant-based spicy tahini pasta with crispy tofu recipe is delicious. Easy to make, creamy and incredibly flavorful. Perfect for nights when you want a tasty pasta dish, but don’t want to leave the house. This recipe reminds me of peanut noodles but with a Healthyish twist.
About this recipe
Made from ground hulled sesame seeds, tahini is traditionally found in Middle Eastern recipes. In my opinion, it tastes similar to peanut butter, but much smoother and nuttier. In fact, it adds the perfect level of creaminess to this sauce without being too powerful. Mixed with the other tasty ingredients for an easy to make weeknight meal. I can almost guarantee that this spicy tahini pasta recipe will be a family favorite.
Not familiar with tofu? It originated in China over 2000 years ago. Tofu is made from fermented bean curds that get pressed into a block-like shape. Tofu generally doesn’t have much flavor. It’s low in calories and high in protein making it a great meat substitute for vegans and vegan curious people.
When prepping the tofu, be sure to press out all of the excess moisture. This will allow the tofu to et extra crispy when it bakes in the oven. Season the press tofu with salt and pepper. Then, dredge it through the cornstarch before baking. You’ll bake the tofu for 40 minutes turning it every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
Not feeling adventurous in the eating department? No worries, you can substitute the tofu in this recipe for chicken or shrimp, but keep in mind it will no longer be vegan. This recipe makes 4-5 servings. Please see below for nutritional information.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator or three to four days,. Reheat this dish in the microwave until heated through, Looking for other plant-based pasta recipes? Try my creamy Alfredo pasta recipe.
Plant-Based Spicy Tahini Pasta with Crispy Tofu
Spicy Tahini Sauce:
- ½ cup tahini, or natural peanut butter
- ¼ cup pasta water
- ¼ cup liquid aminos, or low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sriracha hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 8-10 ounces linguini, rice noodles would work well too
- 1 block super firm tofu, press out any excess moisture
- ¼ cup cornstarch, to dust the tofu
- salt and pepper, to season the tofu
- 2 limes, sliced into wedges
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 3 tablespoons peanuts, crushed
- 1 small jalapeno, sliced or minced, remove seeds and veins
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons scallions, chopped
- pasta pot
- baking tray
- saute pan
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Gently spray a baking tray with cooking spray, set it aside.
Prepare the pasta:
- Salt and boil a pot of pasta water and cook the linguini according to the package. Al dente is best. Reserve ¼ cup of the salted pasta water for the spicy tahini sauce.
- Drain the rest of the water off of the pasta in a colander and set the cooked pasta aside.
Prepare the tofu:
- Using a clean kitchen towel or paper towels, press the moisture out from the super firm tofu. This helps ensure that the tofu gets nice and crispy in the oven.
- Next, cut the tofu into 8 evenly-sized pieces.
- Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
- Next, dredge the tofu through the cornstarch, making sure it’s evenly coated.
- Place the coated tofu pieces on the prepared baking tray.
- Spray the tofu with cooking spray and place it in the oven for 40 minutes. Making sure to flip the tofu around every 10 minutes. Once cooked, remove the tofu form the oven and set it aside.
Prepare the sauce:
- In a saucepan, add the tahini, sriracha, maple syrup, liquid aminos and pasta water. Stir until creamy and well combined.
Assemble the dish:
- Add the cooked linguini pasta into the pan with the spicy tahini sauce. Toss until all of the pasta is well coated.
- Add the pasta to a serving platter and top with crispy tofu, lime wedges, sliced jalapeno, scallions, cilantro and crushed peanuts.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.