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PASTA GOES GLUTEN- AND GUILT-FREE

I’ve often eyed Tofu Shirataki noodles in the refrigerator section at my neighborhood market – but I just didn’t know how to prepare or serve them. Then I had the good fortune to receive a master class from cooking instructor Misako Sassa, who helped me appreciate the versatility of these novelty noodles.

A mixture of tofu plus konnyaku (Asian yam), this ingenious product offers all the satisfaction and comfort of pasta without the gluten. Going G-free is an increasingly popular lifestyle choice, but foodies agree that the toughest part is giving up pasta; with Tofu Shirataki, it’s easy to go G-free and still enjoy noodles. Tofu Shirataki is also sugar free, dairy free, cholesterol free, vegan, low cal/low carb, Non-GMO Project Verified, and Kosher certified. It’s adaptable to a range of recipes, from pasta primavera to mac-and-cheese to hearty noodle soups. Tofu Shirataki has a chewier texture than traditional noodles. Simply drain, rinse and pat dry – no need to boil them, they come pre-cooked – then add your favorite sauce. However, if you heat the noodles, they won’t overcook or become soggy like regular noodles or pasta.

Misako-san began our Tofu Shirataki tutorial by demonstrating how to make cold noodle salad with creamy avocado sauce. Peel and mash the avocado, season it with lime, chop up a red onion and a sweet bell pepper, then stir the ingredients together. Finish with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro, plus a sprig for a garnish. All those raw veggies provide contrasting crunch to the creaminess.

Cold noodles are always a treat, but with the weather cooling down, it’s natural to crave warm pasta dishes – so Misako-san next demonstrated how to make Tofu Shirataki with mushroom sauce. Slice cherry or grape tomatoes in half, then sauté in a pan with olive oil, garlic, and your choice of mushroom. Add the drained noodles and stir.

Here’s something to warm the heart in the coldest winter: Tofu Shirataki has no more than 10 calories per serving, so you can splurge by using sauce ingredients that are higher in fat content, such as butter, oil, or cheese – or all three together! “The key,” Misako concludes, “is to use aromatic ingredients.” You can’t go wrong with Tofu Shirataki, so go ahead and invite friends over for a fun, fast feast.

—– Reported by Julia Szabo

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Info: House Foods America, Inc.
www.house-foods.com

Adaptable to any pasta recipe, Tofu Shirataki comes in four styles: macaroni, spaghetti, fettuccine, and angel hair.

 

Spaghetti-style noodles are combined in a pan with olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

 

With your reporter on sauté duty, Misako-san adds the final flourish: a handful of chopped, fresh basil leaves.

 

All plated up, Tofu Shirataki spaghetti with mushrooms looks as dainty as it is delicious.