Recently I was helping out one of favorite people Michelle Schwegmann at the NY Vegetarian Festival when I got to meet some pretty awesome folks in the booth behind hers. You might know Michelle as the poster girl for Herbivore Clothing Company but honestly I consider her my good luck charm. Every time she comes to visit – something pretty amazing happens. This time, she introduced me to the adorable couple behind Upton’s Naturals.
Now we haven’t used many Upton’s products because they aren’t as available in the NY area as they are in other parts of the country but really that’s a shame because every time I get a chance to try some Upton’s I like half-faint from joy. You remember those old Bugs Bunny cartoons when he falls in love and little hearts float up from his chest and his eyes get all swirly… that’s me and Upton’s. It’s firm, flavorful and versatile enough it works perfectly as an ingredient in a ton of different recipes. To put it bluntly – You want to eat this. Click here to find out where you can find Upton’s in your town!
I loaded up on a few different types of Upton’s seitan that weekend so you’re going to see a bunch of it in the next few weeks. Today we’re starting with an easy Italian Sausage pasta dinner I threw together in less than 30 minutes. Most of that time was spent boiling water. It was pretty much a perfect midweek dinner because the truth is I’m actually kinda lazy, working on another book and we’re on the last season of West Wing now. We’re so close to the end now it’s half exciting and half tragedy… I hope The Newsroom starts up again before I hit the really ugly stages of Aaron Sorkin withdrawal.
Next weekend we’re going to in Portland, Oregon for a Betty Goes Vegan book singing and Q&A (click here for the details). There’s going to be food at the event from Betty Goes Vegan – including baked goods made by Sweet Pea Bakery! I hope at least some of you can make it! If that’s not in your area – I’m going to be updating my Amazon Author’s Page this week to include all the events we have lined up so you guys can come and meet us and ask us questions or whatever. So be sure to check the page next week to see if we’re lined up to come to a Vegfest or book store near you!
Until we meet again dear vegans… please enjoy this simple pasta feast!
Simple Vegan Italian Sausage & Pasta Dinner
1 package Whole Wheat Penne
1 cup Vegan Italian Sausage, defrosted – we used Upton’s but you can also use Tofurky or Field Roast Italian Sausages cut into coins or Match Vegan Meats Italian Sausage formed into bite sized pieces
5 whole Campri or Roma Tomatoes, cut in half
5 Baby Portabella Mushrooms, cut in half
1 cup Raw Spinach Leaves
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Red Wine
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 cup Fresh Basil Leaves
2 teaspoons Fresh Oregano Leaves
1 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Vegan Parmesan Cheese as an topping
Make your Pasta per instructions on the package.
While your pasta is cooking, heat your Olive Oil in a deep saucepan over a medium heat. Once your oil is hot, toss in your Italian Sausage and cook while flipping occasionally until your Sausage begins to brown. Then toss in the remaining ingredients except the Vegan Parmesan and cook while mixing gently so you don’t squish your tomatoes too much. Once your Spinach and Basil begin to wilt, toss in a little bit of your cooked and drained pasta and mix it in and then add a little more. Continue to add and mix in pasta until you have a ratio of pasta to vegetables you like. I would add 1/3 of a cup at a time but it will depend on how deep your sauce pan is. You’ll know your dinner is ready when your Tomatoes are tender, your greens are wilted and your Pasta is coated.
Serve hot with some Vegan Parmesan on top.