Just days after my boyfriend, Ben, announced that he hated tempeh (cue my heart breaking), I made this pasta for myself and happened to leave the leftovers out on the counter. Ben wandered into the kitchen, and when I looked over, he was eating it straight from the pot, not knowing it had tempeh, and saying it was one of my best pastas yet. Come one, come all, tempeh-lovers, tempeh-haters . . . you are going to love this recipe.
1 lb fettuccine
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup raw cashews (see tip on p. 34)
2 cups water
2 Tbsp sriracha
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz tempeh, cut into bite-size cubes
1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
2 Tbsp sriracha
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
Chopped fresh cilantro
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain pasta and return to pot, off heat.
Make the cashew sauce: In medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until softened. Transfer to blender; set skillet aside (no need to wash it). Add cashews, water, sriracha, maple syrup and salt to blender. Blend on high speed for about 2 minutes, until very smooth.
Make the sriracha tempeh: In same skillet in which you cooked onion, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add tempeh and cook, stirring, for 6 to 8 minutes, until golden and lightly browned.
In small bowl, whisk together water, sriracha, maple syrup and salt. Pour mixture over tempeh and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until sauce has somewhat been absorbed and has thickened.
Add cashew sauce to pot with pasta and toss to coat. Season with pepper; taste and adjust seasoning. If sauce gets too thick, add water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Serve pasta in bowls and top each serving with sriracha tempeh, cilantro and a lime wedge.