Monday, July 11, 2011

Meatless Monday: Pasta with Vegetarian Sausage, Basil and Mustard

It's Meatless Monday!

When Andrew and I first had Oliver, his boss, Erika, brought us homemade dinner with a recipe she created herself. The dish was slightly spicy and creamy and mustardy. In short, it was delicious. Andrew asked her for the recipe, and I've been making it ever since.

This recipe uses a meat substitute. To make it, you need to get some vegetarian Italian sausages. There are a few brands to choose from. Our favorites are Tofurky brand and Morning Star Farms brand. They both run about $1 per sausage ($4 for a pack of four), so they're not cheap. They are, however, worth every penny. They're so good that even our meat-eating friends and family will eat them. Tofurky Italian sausages are pretty spicy. They're also refrigerated and not frozen. Also, we can only find them at specialty stores like Whole Foods and Natural Grocers. Morning Star Farms brand has an authentic taste and feel, and they're available at most grocery stores (I bought ours at our local King Sooper's, or Kroger). The sausages come in a pack of four, or 9 ounces. Erika's original recipe calls for 1.5 pounds, or 24 ounces. I don't like paying for $12 worth of sausages, so I have altered the recipe to call for 2 packages (18 ounces) of the vegetarian Italian sausages. Other than that, the only change I made to her recipe was adding in a bit of shredded spinach to get some veggies.

Here is the recipe. Erika wrote that the recipe serves four. I think it's more appropriate to say that it serves six.

Erika's Pasta with Vegetarian Sausage, Basil and Mustard

1 (14.25 oz) package multi-grain penne pasta
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 (9 oz) packages frozen, vegetarian Italian sausages
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 cups cream
1/4 cup grainy mustard
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh spinach leaves (optional)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Heat oil in pan. Add vegetarian sausages and brown over moderately high heat. Once browned, slice the sausages.

3. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add the cream, mustard and red pepper flakes and simmer for two minutes.

4. Stir in the pasta, basil and spinach and serve.

Per serving:
Cost: Approximately $4.
Calories: Approximately 560
Protein: Approximately 27 grams

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