Broad Noodles with Southeast Asian Peanut Pesto and Five Spice Baked Tofu

Serves 4


Five Spice Tofu

* 3 Tb tamari

* 3 Tb mirin

* 1 Tb toasted sesame oil

* 1 tsp unrefined sugar

* 1 1/2 tsp five-spice powder

* 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

* 1 lb firm tofu, pressed and drained, cut into 1/2 inch thick by 2 inch long strips

Peanut Pesto

* 1/2 cup fresh peanuts, toasted

* 1/2 bunch cilantro

* 1/2 bunch mint

* 2 fresh Kaffir lime leaves

* 4 cloves garlic

* 1 serrano or Thai chile, seeded

* 1 Tb peeled and minced fresh ginger

* 2 tsp sesame oil

* 1 tsp salt

* 1 tsp grated lime zest

* 1 Tb white miso

* Juice of 2 limes

Broad Noodles

* 1 tsp canola oil

* 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

* 2 cloves garlic, minced

* 1 head Chinese broccoli, sliced into bite sized pieces

* 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

* 3/4 lb fettucine, cooked al dente


To Make the Tofu

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a mixing bowl, combine the tamari, mirin, sesame oil, sugar, five spice powder, and peppercorns to make the marinade.

2. Place the tofu strips in the marinade and toss to coat. Place the tofu on a baking pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until light brown. Turn the tofu and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Baste with more marinade and cook for 10 minutes, or until the tofu has a caramel glaze. Set aside.

To Make the Pesto

1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Blend, adding water as needed, to achieve a smooth, thin paste. ( Store refrigerated, in an airtight container, for up to 2 days. )

To Make the noodles

1. Heat the canola oil in a wok or large nonstick saute pan over high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 30 seconds, or until just browned.

2. Add the broccoli and bell peppers and saute for 1 minute, or until lightly wilted.

3. Add the tofu, followed by the pesto and the pasta, and cook for 3 minutes, or until heated through.

4. Add a small amount of water to thin out the sauce if needed, and toss well. Add salt to taste.