I invented this pasta dish when I was cleaning out my fridge and pantry one day, and my picky husband and daughter loved it. Back when I worked in Italian catering, we used lots of beef and pork sausage in our pasta dishes, which made them extremely unhealthy. For this dish, I used a "faux" grain sausage by Field Roast which is excellent. I used the Mexican Chipotle sausage, but Field Roast also has an Italian and a Smoked Apple Sage sausage which are also excellent.
You can make this pasta dish in less than 30 minutes flat. This dish is perfect for those busy people out who can't spend all night in the kitchen. Here's the recipe:
Spray olive oil
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 Field Roast sausages, chopped lengthwise twice then chopped into small pieces
1 large yellow onion, half moon slices sliced in half
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil, julienned
10 oz. 100% whole grain bowtie (farfalle) pasta
Salt to taste
Non-vegan option: Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for topping
In a toaster or conventional oven, toast pine nuts by baking them at about 250 degrees for 5-6 minutes. Pinenuts should be slightly golden but not brown. Be watchful when toasting these since they go from golden to burnt in a minute. Set aside.
Boil about 5 quarts of water for the pasta. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil as well as salt to taste to the water before putting in the pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions, usually ten minutes. After pasta is cooked, drain the hot water and rinse with very cold water to stop the pasta from cooking any more. Set aside.
Over medium-high heat, spray a deep, large-sized heavy bottom pan or dutch oven with olive oil, add vegan sausage and brown. Once sausages have a nice brown crust on them, take them out of the pan. Set aside.
In the same pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the onions. Stir for about one minute and then add the garlic. Cook for about 2 more minutes until onions are soft and garlic is no longer pungent. Add the sausage, pinenuts and sun-dried tomatoes and stir for about one minute, till everything is well-combined. Add the pasta and stir ingredients some more. Drizzle a little more olive oil on the pasta if it is a bit dry, but it usually isn't. Pasta should glisten a bit.
Serve pasta in shallow bowls and top with Parmigiano Reggiano, or not if you're vegan.
Simple Swaps for the Svelte:
Field Roast Sausages - Since these are made from grain, you won't be consuming much if any saturated fat or cholesterol, yet these puppies still have a lot of protein in them. Also, regular sausage has no fiber; these sausages, on the other hand, have three grams per link.
100% whole grain pasta - Swapping out white, nutritionally anemic pasta for a pasta made from whole grains is an easy way to make any pasta dish considerably healthier. Whole grains contain more fiber and nutrients than regular pasta and don't spike up blood sugar the way that white pasta does. You can find whole wheat/grain pasta in any supermarket nowadays.
I hope you enjoy this simple and quick vegan recipe.
Till next time,
The Vegan Voice