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Udon Noodles and Tofu with Pistachio-Arugula Pesto

November 21, 2010

This is definitely my new favorite pesto. For those of you who think good pesto needs parmesan cheese — think again. This one uses white miso paste which adds a surprisingly savory creaminess. Of course the pistachios and arugula don’t hurt! I whipped up some udon and tofu to go with it and had a wonderful Sunday lunch. Next time I might add some broccolini or another green vegetable to round out the complete meal. [Note: you will need a food processor to make this.]


Udon Noodles and Tofu with Pistachio-Arugula Pesto

1 package udon noodles (my family always goes with Eden, but any brand will do)

1 package of 14 oz. extra firm tofu (I have ambitions to make my own tofu — look out for that soon, but in the meantime I use Nasoya — if you can’t find Nasoya, just make sure your tofu is made with Nigari or Magnesium Chloride)

4 cups arugula
3/4 cup roasted pistachio nuts
3 tbs white miso paste
5-6 tbs olive oil (i like my pesto on the thicker side, but if you can add more oil to make it smoother)

Put a large pot of water on the stove for the udon. In the meantime, prep your tofu. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating: PRESS YOUR TOFU! This takes out all the excess water and allows the tofu to absorb all the flavors from the pesto. The method I use is to drain the excess liquid and wrap a paper towel around the tofu place a bowl or frying pan on top of the toweled tofu and let sit for at least 5-10 minutes.

In the meantime you can prep the pesto. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse. It’s that simple.

Put aside a bit (around 1/4 of a cup) of pesto for the tofu and place the rest in a big bowl.

At this point, the water should be boiling and you can begin cooking the udon as well as sautéing the tofu.

Because I wanted these pieces to be small, I chopped them into triangles. First I sliced the tofu into 8 rectangles and then cut each of those rectangles into two squares and each square into two triangles. In a non-stick pan, heat the tofu up so that both sides are a golden brown. This should take about 5-8 minutes for each side.

Once the tofu is browned, mix it with the pesto you’ve set aside. Once the udon is done, drain any excess water and mix with pesto in the large bowl. When it’s thoroughly mixed, add in the tofu. Dish can be served warm or cold.

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