It’s no secret just how much I love fermented foods, but despite how much I extol their virtues I realise many people don’t seek out stink when they’re hungry.
I have a philosophy pertaining to food I dislike, however, and it’s that there’s always a way to enjoy something you would otherwise loathe. For instance I despise cucumber with a passion, but bathe it in vinegar and dill for a few weeks and I’ll fight you for the last bite. I believe the same reasoning applies to preserved tofu, an ingredient we’ve yet to adopt as the beloved condiment it is in East Asian countries; If you’ve tried it (or so much as sniffed it) previously in disgust, this might just be the recipe to change your mind.
Fermented white tofu has a creamy texture not dissimilar to dairy, and tastes more like blue cheese than any other non-actual-blue-cheese product you’ll find, so its applications are severely underrated. I dreamt up the idea for this dish whilst contemplating something to go with a bottle of Adobe sauvignon blanc I needed to finish, shortly after spotting a gorgonzola and squash recipe in a magazine.
I used Taipec brand white tofu with chilli in sesame oil for this recipe, but I am confident most other brands would suffice.
Fermented Bean Curd Roasted Butternut Squash with Lemon Pasta
- Using a pestle and mortar, grind the garlic and sea salt for the squash into a fine paste. Add the fermented tofu, olive oil, and sage. Mix to a smooth paste.
- Toss the squash and onions together, along with the paste, in a large bowl. Ensure all of the veg are coated with the liquid. Tip into a large roasting tray and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes, or until the squash is cooked through and is soft.
- While the squash is roasting, make the pasta sauce by combining the lemon juice, olive oil, Cheezly, salt, and garlic in a large bowl.
- Cook the pasta per packet instructions.
- When the squash is cooked, mix the pasta and its sauce together. Serve topped with the squash and fresh parsley, if desired.