Crumbled tofu pasta cooked in a spiced tomato sauce is a quick and wonderfully easy vegan pasta dish that’s perfect for a midweek dinner.
When I say this pasta dish is quick, preparation takes a leisurely 10 minutes and cooking it adds around another 15, making it an easy sub 30-minute dinner.
Vegan Tomato Pasta
I spent many years being very rude about tofu as an ingredient, I was foolish and I was wrong, and I now use it all of the time.
Like many cooks, my first thought when it comes to cooking with tofu involves “Asian” themes. I’ve dishes like an Anglo-Chinese sweet and sour tofu, Korean-influenced tofu gochujang stew and a fab Thai-influenced tofu satay.
This is the first time I have presented a dish that is very much European in influence. However, the lessons for this tofu pasta recipe come from two dishes that are not very European.
The crumbled pasta element comes from my tofu noodle stir fry with dan dan sauce.
The tomato sauce very much comes courtesy of my Vietnamese-influenced crispy fried tofu with tomato sauce.
You may think that apart from that this dish has some Italian heritage, well pasta aside you would be wrong.
The flavouring for the tomato sauce is very British, Henderson’s relish dates back to 19th Century Sheffield. For those that ain’t in the know, it is like Worcestershire sauce, but not like Worcestershire sauce and it is delicious.
So if you fancy and amble through some unusual but gloriously cohesive flavours that will change up both your tofu and your pasta game… this is the recipe for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this dish vegan?
Yes, providing your pasta is vegan then the dish is plant-based and vegan.
What is Henderson’s relish?
Henderson’s relish is an old-fashioned British sauce, similar to Worcestershire sauce. Unlike Worcestershire sauce, Henderson’s does not contain anchovies and as a result, it is a vegan-friendly option.
There is much written about the two with passionate advocates on both sides, I personally prefer Worcestershire sauce. But if I am creating a vegan dish then I am more than happy to use Henderson’s.
What sort of tofu should I use?
I use an extra firm tofu in this and so many of my tofu recipes, I use a brand called Tofoo if you want me to be really specific.
Can I use flavoured tofu?
If you wish, I have tried a couple of different types of flavoured tofu in this recipe and the one that I think worked well was smoked tofu. However, I think that plain is the best choice for this recipe.
I will not apologise for the ubiquity of garlic bread on the side of my pasta dishes, because it is glorious and we both love it.
It appears here on the side of this tofu pasta recipe too. I am not vegan so usually opt for a butter-focused option, but this vegan garlic bread is a solid option.
The main choice that you have with this delicious pasta recipe is the type of pasta you choose to use.
I’ve gone with spaghetti here but this is a versatile sauce that would work well the everything from pappardelle to conchiglie and rigatoni to fettucini.
I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- 20cm or 8″ saucepan.
- 30cm or 12″ frying pan.
- Kitchen tongs, stirring and serving spoons.
- Kitchen knife.
- Chopping board.
- Weighing scales and or a combination of a measuring jug, cups and spoons.
Tofu is often associated with dishes of Asian origin however here it stars in a very European pasta dish with spaghetti and a wonderfully spiced tomato sauce that features loads of Hendersons relish!
- 285g (10oz) Extra Firm Tofu
- 1 Medium (35g) Banana Shallot
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Tbsp Rapeseed (Canola) Oil
- ½-1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
- 75ml (⅓ Cup) Hendersons Relish
- 250g (1 Cup) Tomato Passata
- 1 Tsp Dark Brown Sugar
- 175g (6oz) Dried Pasta (I use spaghetti)
- ¼-½ Tsp Salt (Plus Extra for boiling pasta)
- Drain the tofu then crumble it onto some kitchen paper to soak up as much liquid as possible.
- Peel and dice the shallots as finely as you can.
- Peel and dice the garlic as finely as you can.
- Bring a 20cm or 8" saucepan of generously salted water to a boil (I use 1½ teaspoons in a pan this size).
- Heat a 30cm or 12" saucepan over a medium heat and when it is hot add the oil and fry the shallots for 1-2 minutes to soften, you want to do this without adding colour, it the shallots begin to brown reduce the heat a litte.
- Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Turn the heat up to high, add the tofu and fry for 4-5 minutes stirring continuously.
- After the tofu has been frying for 2 minutes add the pasta and cook as per the instructions on the packet. This should be around 8-10 minutes until it is al dente.
- Add the salt, chilli flakes and Hendersons relish to the tofu and cook until almost all of the relish has been absorbed by the tofu.
- Pour in the tomato passata, add the dark brown sugar, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the pasta is al dente.
- Drain the pasta (reserving a little of the pasta water), add the pasta to the tofu sauce stir it through the sauce and add the reserved pasta water as required.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 745Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1010mgCarbohydrates: 100gFiber: 16gSugar: 13gProtein: 32g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.