Bow Tie Pasta is Cool: Doctor Who Party

This pasta salad is not from the Dr. Who cookbook, but I had to include it anyway!

Update:  For more ideas on how to make this meal even more Who-tastic, check out this updated version!

One of the best things about being in a relationship is getting introduced to things you might not have given the time of day otherwise.  When one partner is vegan and the other goes vegan second, sometimes outsiders presume that the vegan forced the non-vegan to take on that lifestyle.  I seriously doubt that most of the time that’s the case.  More often, couples talk to each other, they learn about issues and discover aspects of a lifestyle they might not have realized otherwise, and when they take it on, it’s their own thing.  I went vegan first, and a few months later David felt inspired to do the same.  While I introduced a plant-based diet to him, there have definitely been no shortage of awesome things that he’s introduced to me too.

This Matt Smith-inspired mug was my first sale in my Etsy shop!  Yay!

After showing me the fabulousness that is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, next came Dr. Who, which was a show David grew up watching on PBS.  If you don’t watch Dr. Who something you need to know is that it’s about a Time Lord.  Time Lords are an alien race who can travel through space and time.  When something happens that should kill the Doctor, instead of dying, he regenerates with a new actor taking the place of the old.  (It was a handy workaround created when the first actor playing the Doctor needed to leave the show.)  During the course of the show, which is the longest running sci-fi show in the world, he’s regenerated 10 times (and we’re currently on the 11th Doctor).  Each time that a new actor comes into the role, he gets new friends, a new outfit, and new personality traits.  In some ways it’s sad when an old favorite Doctor leaves the show, but in other ways it breathes new life and vitality, keeping the show fresh.

I haven’t watched too much of the old series that my husband grew up watching, but a re-launched series with a bigger budget came about in 2005, and I’ve been watching since the first episode.  While my earlier forays into Dr. Who were a total bust, with the new series it was love at first sonic screwdriver.  (That’s the tool the Doctor uses for opening/fixing pretty much anything.)  The current Doctor is played by Matt Smith, whose costume includes a suit, suspenders (or braces for you folks across the pond), and a bow tie.  (He’s also been known to don a Fez or Stetson if the situation calls for it.)

In honor of the eleventh Doctor, this cold pasta dish is a Who’s Who of all of my favorites – olives, garlic, lemony tofu, chickpeas, and artichoke hearts.  (The Doctor actually has two hearts, but I threw in an extra for good measure.)  It can be served hot or cold, but you know what the Doctor would prefer…  (Bow ties are cool!)  In fact, you can even do a mixture of temperatures with hot pasta and chickpeas and cold tofu, olives, tomatoes, and artichokes.  It’s your call!

Surprisingly enough, I actually prefer this tofu cold.  After pressing and baking, when it cools in the refrigerator overnight, it firms as it sets.  It becomes extra chewy & dense, and it’s wonderful on sandwiches or in salads.  (Either press the tofu with a press or go old school with the book & weight method.  Feel free to bake it in slices instead of cubes for use on sandwiches.)  I use dry-cured olives in this dish, because I love their chewy texture, but replace with a different variety of olives if you’d prefer.

bow tie pasta with baked tofu & roasted chickpeas - Dr. Who style

Bow Tie Pasta is Cool

Serving Size: Serves 4

Bow Tie Pasta is Cool


    For garlic vinaigrette
  • 1 clove garlic, zested with a Microplane zester (or minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon flax oil
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • For the pasta salad
  • 1 14 oz. block of water-packed firm or extra-firm tofu, drained & pressed
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 ½ cups dry farfalle (also known as bow tie pasta), cooked according to package directions
  • 14 grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 8 dry-cured Greek olives, pitted and sliced
  • 3 artichoke hearts from a water-packed jar, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: chopped fresh basil, cilantro, or parsley (optional)


    To make garlic vinaigrette
  1. In a small bowl combine zested garlic, flax oil, balsamic vinegar, dried oregano, dried basil, salt & pepper. Set aside.
  2. To make pasta salad
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Slice the pressed tofu in half width-wise and then cut into cubes. Combine 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and tamari in an 8×8 glass baking dish or pie plate. Toss the tofu cubes in the tamari mixture and lay evenly across the dish.
  5. Bake for twenty minutes and then remove from oven. Flip tofu cubes and add lemon juice to the baking dish. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. The tofu can be served hot, or remove the tofu from the oven and transfer to a sealed container. Put in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours. It will get firmer as it gets cools.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put chickpeas on the parchment-covered sheet, drizzle the remaining teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil onto it, and toss with nutritional yeast flakes. Add salt to taste. Roast in 400 degree oven for twenty minutes, stopping once to shake the pan so that it bakes evenly.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked farfalle pasta with baked tofu, roasted chickpeas, grape tomatoes, dry-cured Greek olives, artichoke hearts, and one tablespoon of garlic vinaigrette. (There will be extra vinaigrette left over. Feel free to add more if you prefer or store it in the refrigerator to use on another salad.)
  8. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve cold. Just before serving, garnish with fresh basil, cilantro, or parsley if you desire.

bowtie pasta

Want to see the other theme parties and dishes?  Check them out here!


  1. says

    All the cool kids are watching Doctor Who. I am very curious about this show now.
    yes, so true how we can venture into a world formerly unbeknownst to us through a partner. Also anyone who wears a fez and holds a gigantic farfalle is a new friend of mine. Artichokes, olives and chickpeas too? Righton !

    • says

      Accordingly, I am not cool. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen one episode, and I’m a Sci Fi lover. Bow tie pasta, on the other had, we are fast friends.

      • Cadry says

        Oh, Kittee! If you’re a sci fi lover, you should definitely check it out! I’m not a sci fi fan in general. Although, I’ve had a million friends/boyfriends who were into science fiction and so I’ve seen my fair share of it! I think Dr. Who transcends the genre. While it certainly has Sci Fi elements with aliens and spaceships, for me the most compelling aspects are in the relationships.

    • Cadry says

      Are all of the cool kids watching Dr. Who? I noticed that they actually have Dr. Who-themed costumes at Hot Topic at the mall. It’s certainly becoming mainstream in the States in a way that it never has been before. David actually learned how to knit as a kid (something he still enjoys today), because he wanted a scarf like the Dr. Who of the time. When he was a child getting teased for it, I bet he never would have believed that someday it would be so popular!

      You should check out Dr. Who! I recommend starting with the new series, which had Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor. It pays off in the long run to see how it unfolds. If only we lived closer, I’d loan you my DVD’s! :)

  2. says

    I love farfalle! I think it’s my favorite pasta because it’s so cute! Pair it with tofu, in a salad? Well now you know how to make my heart pitter patter. Cadry, I’m so glad MOFO is almost over, I can’t keep up!?! Although that chopped challenge is really interesting this round!

    • Cadry says

      I rarely eat farfalle, because it’s very hard to find whole wheat, organic, and vegan. For some odd reason in the colors they often use squid ink! Egads! Who wants that? But they are so cute and I like the extra chewiness because of the shape.

      It’s definitely hard to keep up with MoFo – both in the writing, photographing, and posting, and in reading and commenting on other blogs! I have two cookbooks just waiting for me to break into them once the month is over! :)

      I just checked out the challenge for this weekend, and those are intriguing ingredients indeed. If you make something, I look forward to seeing what you do!!

  3. cookeasyvegan says

    I wish GF pasta came in bow ties. I never could get into the old Dr. Who and then after so many years it seemed like it would be hopeless to try to catch up. Maybe it’s not too late to join the Dr. Who party since he changes so much with each regeneration. Or maybe I should just make the salad.

    • Cadry says

      I was saying to Somer that it’s surprisingly tricky (at least where I live) to get organic, vegan, whole wheat farfalle, and so I’m not surprised GF is a no go! For whatever reason, they were only available with refined flour, and I looked several places. The kind I bought, Montebello, is organic and just had one ingredient. So I appreciated that. I couldn’t believe how many brands had squid ink in them! Blech! Anyway, this salad would be great with any shape of pasta. I just used bow tie to fit the theme.

      I can’t recommend Dr. Who highly enough! I’ve tried on a few occasions, both in my married life & earlier, to get into the old Dr. Who. It’s okay, but it’s not something I’d need to watch all the time. The new version is a whole new game, though. They have some references to the old series, but it’s completely watchable without having that history. I recommend starting with the beginning of the new series when Christopher Eccleston was the Doctor. It’s very cool to see how the relationships and story develops. I predict you’ll be hooked in no time! :)

      • cookeasyvegan says

        squid ink? Yuck. That’s a new one to me. I don’t think I ever was able to find whole wheat bow ties, either. I’m reluctant to get hooked into another series, but I’ll try out an episode of Dr. Who and see how it goes.

  4. says

    i grew up loving pasta salad. my mom made it and it was amazing! i much prefer your version nowadays, as hers contains pepperoni and cheese cubes :/

    i know what you mean about people assuming that one person in the couple convinced the other to go vegan. i had been vegan for 5 years before dayv made the commitment. but it was truly his decision.

    • Cadry says

      Good for Dayv! It bugs me when people write-off one person’s transition, because they assume they were pressured. It minimizes that person’s experience and dedication. In the above example, just because David introduced me to Doctor Who or Buffy doesn’t mean that it’s any less mine. The same goes for him with veganism. I never pressured him to go vegetarian or vegan, and his dedication to the animals is very much his own.

  5. says

    That’s so true about relationships introducing you to other things — that’s part of the beauty of it. I made it a point to never ask Erik to go veg. Instead I shared information (as I would about any interest I had), answered questions and let him experience it through me. It *really* bothers me when people assume, as they often do, that he’s vegan because I forced him into it…he is perfectly capable of making his own decisions and deserves more credit than that. :)

    I’ve never seen Dr. Who, but I love this theme already! It’s super cute with the mug and bow ties! This pasta salad looks so tasty and filling. It never occurred to me to add chunks of tofu (or chickpeas) to a pasta salad before — I like!

    • Cadry says

      Well said, Bobbie! One of the wonderful things about romantic relationships and friendships is discovering something through someone else. Like you, I never pressured David. When I’d learn things through reading and podcasts, we talked about it at dinner (like we talk about many things). David is a compassionate, thoughtful person. It completely tracks to me that those thoughts and feelings would lead him to veganism. He didn’t need any pressure from me to go there!

  6. says

    I keep hearing about Dr. Who but have never seen it on tv, so have never watched it. It seems I need to download some episodes. I’m totally on board with Buffy though, love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I spent many days in my room during highschool “studying”, but actually watching episodes of Buffy :)
    I love bowtie pasta. I know pasta is just pasta but it makes things seem fancier then your standard noodle. This recipe sounds delish, saving it for my next BBQ.

    • Cadry says

      If you like Buffy, you should definitely check out Doctor Who! They’re different types of shows, of course, but they both have sci fi elements while telling a larger story about relationships. I recommend starting with the 2005 start of the new series.

  7. says

    I have so many friends, and now you, who are Dr. Who disciples. I feel like I’m missing out. Is it 12 year old appropriate?

    Your pasta salad looks so great, but what I love most about it is the title: Bow Tie Pasta Salad is Cool. It’s probably the best name for a pasta salad ever. :-)

    • Cadry says

      Oh, yes! Check it out, Kristy! It’s definitely 12-year-old appropriate. In England, it’s a popular show for the whole family.

      The title of the dish comes from one of the Doctor’s catchphrases. His signature costume piece is his bow tie, and he often says, “Bow ties are cool.” :)

  8. says

    I am going through all of your Dr. Who posts now and drooling over all of your awesome swag! Where did you get that giant Dalek and the TARDIS serving dish?? They are so awesome!

    • Cadry says

      Thanks, Becky! The giant Dalek was a gift given to my husband by his former bosses a few years ago. They got it at Comic-Con, but it’s available online too. It’s actually remote control! It talks and can do some things on command. It’s a hit with kids when they come over. I made the TARDIS dish. I’m glad you like it! :)


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