This recipe is an adaptation of my own "Peanut Chicken" which I have been making for years. My daughter, however, has never really liked the taste of chicken. She mostly ate the sauce and broccoli over pasta. Now that she has moved closer to vegetarianism and many of her friends are vegetarian, I came up with a tofu version. It's pretty much the same sauce (EASY!), although I've spiced it up a little to suit her taste. This is also delicious over brown rice in lieu of pasta. Feel free to garnish with chopped scallions, crispy fried shallots or extra chopped peanuts if you like! —healthierkitchen
4 - 6
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti or thin spaghetti, prepared according to directions, 1 cup cooking water reserved (I like Garofalo and Rustichella D'Abruzzo brands but any Italian brand should be fine)
1 package ( I think mine are usually 14 oz.) extra firm tofu, drained on paper towel, then cut into about 1 inch pieces. You can press it but as this is usually a last minute dinner, I never take the time to do so.
about 1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil, divided
1 onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large head broccoli (should be about 4 - 6 cups - I like a lot), cut into florets and lightly steamed
6 generous tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
5 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
dash or two of chili oil, more to taste (you can omit this if you don't want the heat)
In a wok or deep saute pan coated with about half the peanut or canola oil, cook the tofu pieces over medium to high heat until the pieces brown . Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Add the rest of the oil, the onion and the garlic to the pan and continue to cook until onion is soft. If the pan seems dry, add a splash of soy sauce. You might need to lower the heat under the pan to medium if the garlic is getting too crispy.
Add steamed broccoli to the pan and lower burner to medium if you haven't already.
In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, lemon juice and chili oil to make a paste. Add the mixture to the pan, adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water to thin the sauce.
Return the tofu to the pan and make sure broccoli and chicken pieces are well coated with the sauce. Mix well, but carefully, so you tofu pieces stay together. Add more pasta water as needed. You want a creamy, coating sauce, not a really gloppy thick consistency.