Friday, July 1, 2011

Summertime Tempeh Pasta

Okay, I'm being optimistic calling this summertime pasta. Mostly I just wish Vancouver would act like summertime. But if it was warm here, I bet I'd want to eat this.

This was pretty much born from me trying to clean out the fridge and make a healthy dinner from the remnants. I still have too many peas in the freezer so I knew I had to try and build a dinner around using peas somehow. I'm a big fan of pastas like this. They're easy, super flavorful and so good for you. You can really add whatever you happen to have on hand. I bet some chard or kale would be great in this. Some diced heirloom tomatoes added just at the end of cooking would be pretty awesome, too. Get crazy!

Just use whatever kind of pasta you like. I had some rice fettucini so I used that. I'd actually avoided eating it because I remember how gross and mushy rice pasta used to taste. When did rice pastas get good again? I couldn't even really tell that the noodles were that different from wheat noodles. That's kind of awesome. I do like to buy corn pasta sometimes, but I find that sometimes has a bit too much of its own flavor if you're making it with something that doesn't have really strong flavors already.

I didn't write down what I did when I made this, so this is just a guestimate, but really, you can't go wrong making something like this anyway. I think the fresh herbs really add something special to a simple pasta like this. You can use whatever you happen to have on hand. If you don't have any fresh herbs, no worries. Just use about a half teaspoon each of dried thyme and oregano. That'll do the trick.

Summertime Tempeh Pasta

1 block of tempeh, cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves of garlic (or however much you like. I probably actually added way more than that because I'm a garlic fiend.)
a handful of shitake mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
about 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
pasta of your choice

Steam the tempeh cubes for about 10 minutes. You want to get it soft and remove some of the bitterness.

In a pan (cast iron if you've got it) over medium heat, heat the olive oil for a minute and add in the garlic. Saute for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and tempeh and saute for 5 - 10 minutes or just until you start to get some browned bits on the tempeh. Add the broth, herbs and peas and stir. If you're using frozen peas, make sure to cook until the peas aren't frozen anymore! If you're not, just give the mixture a stir every minute or so for a few minutes until the peas aren't raw. Maybe about 5 -10 minutes?

Turn off the heat, spoon over pasta and serve. You might want to add some salt and pepper to taste. A dash of balsamic vinegar on top would also be pretty stellar. Maybe sprinkle on some nutritional yeast if you want a bit of extra zing?


  1. I like quinoa pasta best; it's texture is really close to semolina pasta, if not spot on, and it doesn't have a flavor other than to taste like pasta.

  2. I've never even heard of quinoa pasta. That sounds like it would be pretty great, especially for as much protein as quinoa has. I'm going to have to try and find some.

  3. Looks delicious! I really like quinoa pasta, but then found out the expensive one I'd been eating was mostly made from corn. I have recently fallen in love with brown rice pasta- it's a bit bouncier, and doesn't expand as much.

    Nice to have found your blog! :)