Spaghetti Tofu and Celery Peperoncino
Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino (Spaghetti garlic, oil, and hot chilli pepper) is my favourite pasta. Adding tofu and celery makes this pasta more substantial and nutritious. I use celery leaves instead of Italian parsley. Many people throw away celery leaves so please try it this way; the leaf tastes quite similar to parsley!
- 600g (21oz) firm tofu
- 4 dried whole chillies
- 6 stalks of celery, with leaves
- 400g (14oz) spaghetti or gluten-free spaghetti
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- Cracked pepper
- Break the tofu into bite sizes and let it stand on a strainer for 10 minutes.
- Slice 1 dried chilli and remove the seeds. If you don’t like it too spicy, do not chop the chilli (it will be less spicy when not chopped).
- Trim the leaves from the celery. Shred the leaves roughly. Slice the stalk thinly at an angle (in a diagonal movement).
- Cook pasta in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water until it is al dente. Reserve a full ladle of salted water ready to use later.
- While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the tofu. Cook, not stirring for 5 minutes or until golden. Add sliced celery and a good pinch of salt and stir for 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat the rest of the oil and garlic in the same saucepan over a low heat and cook until the garlic turns nearly pale gold, it takes about 5 to 7 minutes (do not let the garlic turn brown, otherwise the sauce will taste bitter). Add chopped and whole chillies and cook for another minute.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the hot garlic and oil mixture with the reserved salted water. Toss to combine then put back the tofu and celery. Add celery leaves at the end and season with salt
- Serve with a generous sprinkling of black pepper.