Back in February, Alex and I took our annual trip (and by annual I mean it’s the second time we’ve done it) to spend my birthday weekend with my BFF, her fiance and their fur-baby in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia. Kelowna is one of our absolute favorite places to visit and we hope to be able to call it home one day in our future. The food and wine scene has a lot to do with how much I love it there, which is why I was so excited when they surprised me with a Valentine’s Day cooking class at Mission Hill Winery! I’ve been to a few cooking classes in Edmonton, but this one was a little bit different than I was used to. The best way to describe it is it’s as if you were the studio audience of a Food Network show. After waking up at the crack of dawn to fly to Kelowna, I was thrilled to find out that instead of working for my food, I got to watch the chef prepare four amazing courses while sitting on my butt and drinking delicious wine.
The menu and wine pairings were as follows:
Scallop and Shrimp with a Cucumber Feta Salad – 2014 Reserve Pinot Blanc
Angel Hair Pasta with Dungeness Crab, Pine Nuts and Black Olives – 2014 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Whole Rousted Poussin for Two with Rice and Mushroom Stuffing – 2012 Martin’s Lane Pinot Noir
Vanilla Sable and Sweet Cherry Napoleon – 2011 Reserve Riesling Icewine
I would generally be all over documenting this, but to be honest, I was having way to much fun eating, drinking and laughing to worry about bringing out my camera before each course started. Instead, I decided I would recreate one of the dishes with a few healthy substitutions.
I was really excited to use smoked tofu in this dish because I have been crushing on it so hard lately and using it just about anywhere that I can. For all the tofu haters out there, you must give this a try before you write off tofu off all together. It has a smoky flavor that reminds me of gouda and lets be honest – anything that tastes like smoked gouda = love (my picky mother even liked it!).
Spaghettini with Pine Nuts, Black Olives, Roasted Tomatoes and Smoked Tofu
1 – 900 g clam shell of grape tomatoes
1 red onion, sliced1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1 – 375 g package whole wheat spaghettini
2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 package smoked tofu, cubed
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Salt, to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the grape tomatoes and half of the sliced red onion in 1 Tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
Remove the tomatoes and allow them to cool. In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and the remaining sliced red onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pine nuts, olives, smoked tofu and 1/3 of the roasted tomatoes. Turn down burner to low just to keep warm.
Add remaining 2/3 of the cooled roasted tomatoes to a blender with the greek yogurt and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Add pasta to the boiling water and cook as per package instructions. Strain well.
Add the pasta to the tofu and olive mixture and toss carefully. Add basil, season with salt and pepper and toss.
Place pasta mixture onto the plate and top with the roasted tomato and greek yogurt sauce.