Spaghetti Primavera (Gluten-free and Vegan)

I am so not a Hallmark kind of girl.  Many years ago while travelling on business, I made the mistake of going out to eat on Valentines Day.  I will never repeat that experience!  Even if Valentines was a big deal, going out to eat is a problem when one is looking for both gluten-free and vegetarian.  It is easier to stay home and cook. 

I posted about this recipe during pre gluten-free days, but have now adapted it so Guy can have it.  I have made enough changes to the recipe at this point, I feel comfortable posting it here.  (Were you aware lists of ingredients for recipes cannot be copyrighted — only the description of how to prepare a dish are copyrightable.)  Guy has repeatedly said this is better than any pasta dish he has ever eaten in a restaurant — high praise indeed.

Start with one pound of Extra Firm tofu.  (I can already hear the groans from some people, but wait this will be way better than plain raw tofu.)

Sit drained block of tofu widest portion down on a cutting surface.  Cut the height in half.

Next cut the block in half lengthwise.

Finally cut into thin strips crosswise (about 1/8″ wide).

For a marinade, I used 2 Tablespoons Bragg’s Amino Acids (there is a GF soy sauce available now, but I haven’t taken the time to locate it yet — it would work equally well), 2 tablespoons wine vinegar (either red or white work) and 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Combine these ingredients in an air tight container.

Add the tofu strips.

Cover with the air tight lid and flip over a couple of times to coat the tofu.  Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, longer works great even overnight.  Whenever you go by the refrigerator, flip the container.

When ready to prepare the meal, clean and cut up about 4 cups of vegetables.  I used broccoli florets and carrots.  Feel free to substitute according to your preferences.

Place vegetables in a 3 quart sauce pan along with 1-1/2 cups of frozen peas and plenty of water to cover all the vegetables.  (The cooking water will be used later in the recipe and you will need 3 cups after the vegetables are cooked.)  Cover the pan, bring to a boil and cook until the vegetables are tender.

While the vegetables are cooking, dump the tofu along with any remaining marinade into a skillet and saute over medium heat.

Some of the tofu pieces should become golden brown.

In an effort to reduce the number of dirty dishes, I place the tofu back in the container in which it was marinated and use the skillet to make the sauce.

By now the vegetables should be finished.  Remove from heat and drain liquid, reserving 3 cups.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add one pound of gluten-free spaghetti noodles.  Cook according to package directions.  Our favorite gluten-free pasta is Ancient Harvest Quinoa.  Sadly they don’t make lasagna noodles.  I wrote to them and begged, but they have no plans to do so since it breaks too easily getting to market.

While the water is heating and the pasta is cooking prepare the sauce.

In the skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil and add 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free flour.  Whisk to combine.  Try to create a smooth paste.  This is harder to do than with all-purpose flour, but is possible.

Gradually add the 3 cups of reserved liquid, whisking to avoid lumps.

To season the sauce add 2-1/2 tablespoons dry parsley flakes (if using fresh parsley triple that quantity), 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic (or garlic powder) and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne.

Cook, stirring constantly over low heat, until sauce has thickened.

If everything is timed just right, the noodles should be finished and ready to be drained.

Add the tofu and cooked vegetables to the drained noodles.

Pour the sauce over all the other ingredients.

Mix together and serve immediately.

This easily makes enough to feed 6-8 people. We always have enough for Guy to take for lunch the next day or two.  He claims it is great even cold!

This recipe was adapted from Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler.

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