Vegan Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta

For me, pasta is one of the ultimate comfort foods. It is also the meal that I turn to when I have no idea what to make. I always know that combining a few vegetables in a quick sauce will be a hit with my family. Pasta is cheap, filling and super versatile. Kids and parents can enjoy the same meal with a few small tweaks. My kids love to drown theirs in parmesan which makes almost any vegetable paletable for them and the parents love to drown theirs in chili flakes and black pepper, skipping the cheese.

Many people are allergic or sensitive to gluten. I thank the gods that we are not, however I try to keep full gluten pasta to once a week because of it’s caloric implications. It is very difficult to eat a proper portion of pasta. It is so delicious and such an amazing vehicle for flavor. That is why it is important to pack your pasta with high fiber vegetables and proteins to help fill you up without gorging. If you are gluten sensitive, experiment with gluten free pastas. I love rice pastas, lentil pastas, corn pastas, and chickpea pastas. Trader Joe’s has some great ones that are really affordable and Banza is always a favorite too. There is a bit of a learning curve with cooking alternative pastas. Once I figured out that I needed to monitor them closely for doneness and then really rinse after draining to halt the cooking process, I was golden. When I sub in different noodles, usually even the kids do not object. Unless of course I accidentally overcook and then everyone is horrified by the dreaded mush.

This particular dish is a nice vegan twist on the classic sausage and peppers. There are some really great vegan sausage options out there from brands like Tofurkey, Field Roast, Light Life among others. Always read labels, especially if you are concerned about allergies. Something can be labelled veggie but has eggs and many of these types of products are not gluten free. I do not encourage eating these meat substitutes more than a couple times a week. They are delicious and convenient, but they are processed which is not ideal to have as a staple. As people transition from a traditional omnivore diet, it is ok to lean heavily on these sorts of food items to ease into a vegan diet but after your body stops craving meat, the majority of your diet should be plants, legumes and grains. You will notice a big difference in your digestion if you are eating too much fake meat, plus they can be expensive!

I hope you try this quick, easy and delicious recipe. It is sure to please even the pickiest of palettes. Perfect for a chilly or rainy evening, this meal is like getting a warm hug from your Nonna.

Vegan Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta

Hearty and quick weeknight dinner
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: fusion, Italian, Mediterranean, vegan
Keyword: comfortfood, Easy, garlic, hearty, pasta, simple
Servings: 5 people

Equipment

  • stovetop

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta of choice
  • 4 ea Vegan Italian Sausages cut in large rounds
  • 5 ea baby bell peppers cut in rings
  • 4 ea cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 cup collard greens chopped
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 can Crushed tomatoes 28 oz size
  • 1/2 cup asparagus ends chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for sauteeing
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp turbinado sugar you may sub sweetener of choice
  • 1 ea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ea crushed red pepper to taste to top

Instructions

  • For proper timing always start by putting large pot of water on to boil for the pasta
  • chop all vegetables and ingredients
  • heat a large pan with oil on medium for saute then add the garlic and onions and cook for 5 minutes until browning and fragrant
  • next add sausage and cook for another 5 minutes stirring or tossing pan depending on skill level occasionally not constantly
  • add italian seasoning, bell peppers and collard greens, salt lightly and cook for 3 minutes
  • add canned tomatoes, water, and sugar and bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes
    then taste for salt and adjust to taste
  • Toss cooked pasta with some of the sauce to prevent sticking then toss in the arugula to wilt only. Portion into bowls, ladle sauce and veggie/sausage mix over the top. Garnish with copious fresh groung black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes

Notes

This recipe works well with any kind of sausage. You could sub in other forms of protein as well like meatballs, tofu, tempeh or seitan. The sauce is tasty and versatile
Also to reach the goal of 20 minutes, pasta water should always be step one and the prep should be done while water is heating. When cooked in tandem this way, pasta dinners are one of the easiest and quickest dinners around.
The asparagus is cut from the ends which are usually discarded. I reserve them for soups and sauces. I do not use the part that is really woody but use the part that is still tender. I do this by keeping them in the elastic and using just the part above the elastic that is toward the tips. There is about 1 1/2 inches of the stalk that isn’t tender enough to eat grilled but is tender enough to eat in a presentation where they are braised in liquid. You may skip and it will not make a huge difference in the dish.


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