Supper in less than 30 minutes – Vegetarian/Vegan Sausage Pasta.
If like me, you are trying to reduce the amount of meat in your diet, you may well have looked and wondered about vegetarian sausages. With the success of the Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll, I was keen to try for myself and bought a pack of Linda McCartney red onion and rosemary sausages. While they are nice enough baked or pan-fried, for anyone used to the meat version, they are significantly different – with an almost bready texture and a strong herby flavour. By using them as part of a recipe, the end result was so convincing that no one would miss the meat. And, a spicy vegetarian sausage pasta was the perfect winter warmer recipe.
Of course, the spicy tomato sauce works in its own right, but without the sausages, it’s a light meal. Add sausages – vegetarian or not – and you add protein. In doing that you make a meal that will keep you full for longer. So vegetarian sausage pasta is the kind of dish that will fill up every member of the household and ensure that even the most stalwart meat-eater has no cause for complaint.
This is also a recipe that can be adapted to use up leftovers. I added carrots, leeks and celery to the sauce this time and I have made the basic sauce with mushrooms too in the past. The idea is to create a rich, spicy sauce to hold the sausages – and then serve it over an appropriate pasta (tagliatelle, penne or rigatoni for example).
The basic shopping list you’ll need to make this recipe for two hungry people is as follows:
- 3 or 4 ripe tomatoes
- Tomato puree
- Red wine
- Vegetarian or vegan sausages
- An onion
- 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
- 170 grams of dried pasta
- Olive oil
I topped my dish with parmesan cheese – if you are following a strict vegetarian diet, you can use any hard vegetarian cheese. Or omit the cheese altogether for a vegan spicy sausage pasta If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, then substitute a tin of chopped tomatoes and omit the tomato puree. And, feel free to add carrots, celery, leeks, mushroom, courgettes or aubergine. Just dice everything finely and soften whatever extra vegetables you use along with the onion at the start.
Do try this for yourself. Here’s the printable recipe to make things easier!
Vegetarian Sausage Pasta
- 2 Vegetarian Sausages of your choice
- 1 Medium Onion
- 2 cloves Garlic Crushed and finely chopped
- 3 Medium Ripe Tomatoes Skins removed. Or substitute a tin of tomatoes and omit the puree
- 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 100 ml Red Wine
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 20 g Parmesan
- 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley
- 120 g Dried Pasta of your choice Penne or Fusilli work well
- Heat the oil in a deep frying pan.
- Brown the sausages on all sides and cook for about 10 minutes from frozen or 6 if they are not frozen, remove from the pan and put to one side
- Chop the onion finely and sweat in the pan that you've just cooked the sausages in over a medium heat
- After 5 minutes, add the garlic and spices and continue to cook for a minute, stirring constantly
- Add the tomato puree and cook for a further minute, continuing to stir
- Add the chopped fresh tomatoes (or canned tomatoes), together with the red wine
- At this stage, put your pasta on to cook, following the packet instructions
- Stir the tomato sauce, taste and season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for about a further 10 minutes over medium heat until it has reduced down a bit.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, cover the pan and put to one side
- Cut the sausages into chunks, about 1 cm thick and stir through the sauce, reheating the whole mixture for a minute or so.
- Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if required. Stir through the fresh parsley.
- Stir the sauce into the pasta, then divide the mixture into shallow bowls
- Top with finely grated parmesan or vegetarian cheese
Despite being based on one sausage per person, this makes a substantial meal. You could easily add an extra sausage per person though. The tomato sauce, with or without the sausages can be frozen for a couple of months and the mixture will keep in the fridge for two or three days. Of course, you can make the dish with meat sausages too, just make sure you cook the sausages through properly.