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Wafuu Pasuta #1: Pasuta no Nakate

Posted Mar 09 2009 3:04pm
N ew Age and Fusion restaurants are all the rage nowadays. It seems the more cultures you combine, the more creative you become but this isn’t the case. In specific regions of countries, the core of food blends. For example, Gobi Manchurian is a combination of Chinese and Indian cuisines due to the bordering area, Hawaii adapted recipes from other cultures and Japan samples out different techniques in its own. Japan has noodles, of course: soba, udon, ramen, etc. In some restaurants, they serve a style of food referred to as Wafuu Pasuta which is Japanese style pasta. In other words, Italian spaghetti, rotini, etc with Japanese ingredients. It figures that a recipe like this would permit me to eat pasta. Well, not permit, but accept as well as giving my last go-around attrying a gluten free pasta.

Tinkyada is my hero. Tinkyada makes wonderful pasta and I recommend it to everyone. I’ve tried quinoa based pasta that tastes quite chewy, gets dry, and vanishes in the sauces upon reheating. I’ve tried DeBoles pasta which also tastes like cardboard, and gets mushy if overcooked even a little bit. So you can imagine how reluctant I was when I picked up a bag of Tinkyada. It was on sale; I would give it a go. So, I decided to Japanize Pasta Primavera, one of my favorites. I love the abundance of fresh vegetables tossed in a light buttery garlic sauce (simple pastas were always my favorite). In this case, I made a miso-garlic sauce to coat the pasta and vegetables, serving it along with a fresh romaine salad with tomatoes, shitake mushrooms, and okra.

The reason why I call it 'nakate' (mid-season vegetables) is due to the fact that the vegetables used aren't really spring vegetables. In fact, 90% of the time in Pasta Primavera, the vegetables aren't spring vegetables. Technically, it should be called Pasta Caduta (fall) but I guess who first invented it wasn't thinking.

All in all, the end result was marvelous. It was incredible. I would have never thought of crossing Japanese with Italian. I’m sold with a new broad range of ideas. Fusion cuisine, as cliché as it may be on occasion, rocks!

Wafuu Pasuta no Nakate
2 oz dry pasta
½ cup sugar snap peas, halved
½ zucchini, quartered and chopped
5 brussel sprouts, halved
1/5 block of firm tofu, diced
½ cup chopped baby corn
2 scallions or green onions, sliced on a biased
2 tbsp toasted Nori

Miso Garlic Sauce
1 Tbsp miso
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 packet stevia
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Crushed garlic fakes

Okra Mushroom Tomato Salad with toasted chestnuts
5 shiitake mushroom, reconstituted & sliced
½ cup chopped okra
1 small/medium tomato, cored, and quartered
5 chestnuts, chopped & tosted
2 cups fresh greens

The Salad: Spread the greens across the serving plate.

In a medium pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, sauté the mushrooms and okra until golden brown. Once the color is achieved, spread across the leafy greens, add the tomato, and garnish with toasted chestnuts.

The Sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a cup and set aside for later use.

The Pasta: Boil the pasta according to the directions minus a few minutes.

Spray a frying pan with nonstick cooking spray, and brown the tofu. Once golden brown set that aside and re-spray if necessary. Add the Brussels sprouts and sauté until soft, following with the zucchini. After the zucchini softens, add the baby corn, snap peas, and tofu. Stir fry for a few minutes before adding the sauce. Fry for 2 more minutes then transfer to another plate.

Crumble the toasted nori on top and serve.
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