Monday, November 25, 2013

Recipe: Quick and Easy Vegan Sausage Pasta

In recent weeks, I've been flexing my culinary muscles more because it's a little challenging to find decent vegan grub in my neck of the woods. Sure, I could eat french fries everywhere I go, but...I've been trying to get back on the running wagon lately, and my body needs good fuel for my workouts.

A couple weeks ago I decided to re-make a recipe I'd tried out earlier this year - Simple Vegan Italian Sausage and Pasta Dinner - from one of my favorite bloggers/cookbook authors - The Shannons. If you're not familiar with Dan and Annie, they're a husband and wife who set out on a culinary adventure to veganize Betty Crocker's cookbook. Which was no easy feat because Betty liked her butter, dairy, and eggs. I own their cookbook - Betty Goes Vegan - and I think it offers up some great recipes for people who miss meals they used to have in their pre-vegan days or for people who are trying to cut back on meat a little and aren't sure where to start.

Vegan Sausage Pasta
I mentioned that this was the second time I made this recipe, right? My first attempt was back in the spring. I followed the recipe to the letter and then realized that I like garlic more than most people and that this concoction needed more flavor. I also used Tofurkey sausage the first time. I love me some Tofurkey sausage, but it just wasn't cutting it in this recipe. This time I used Upton's Naturals Italian Seitan. It's crumbly, and flavorful, and really made this pasta dish turn out better, I think. (although I think anything by Upton's Naturals makes just about any recipe better - all of their products are SO good)

  • Pasta shape/type of your choice (I used leftover farfalle that had been hanging around in my cupboard) - adjust the amount of noodles based on the number of servings you need
  • Vegan sausage - crumbles or sausages sliced into coins
  • 5 quartered Roma tomatoes
  • 1 package sliced portabella mushrooms
  • 2 cups raw spinach leaves
  • 2+ cloves garlic, minced (I used about 6)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  1. Prepare the pasta following the directions on the box. Set aside once cooked
  2. In a skillet/saucepan, heat the oil.
  3. Brown sausage in oil - be careful to not overcook.
  4. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, wine, and spices. Stir frequently until tomatoes and mushrooms begin to soften.
  5. Add spinach and basil and cook until leaves start to wilt. 
  6. Slowly add pasta to sausage/tomato/mushroom/spinach mixture and stir to coat noodles with sauce. 
  7. Serve and enjoy!
All told, this recipe came together in around a half hour. My boyfriend and I each has pretty substantial portions and he was able to eat the leftovers at lunch for most of the week. (I definitely used too many noodles) I really think the slight tweaks I made to the recipe (mainly adding more of each of the spices) really jazzed it up a bit. I'll definitely be making this recipe again!

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