Who doesn't love Italian food? I love pasta, but I don't let myself eat it every single day. But now that I am exercising more and more, I want pasta more and more. Right now I'm really on a brown rice pasta kick. I love the way I feel afterward-- Satisfied and full, but not too full.
For this particular Italian night, I decided to make spaghetti with a chunky, rustic sauce with vegan sausage and bell peppers. Classic sides for this meal: bread and ceasar salad. can't go wrong with those. When I was eating dairy, I was totally sick of ceasar salad. I had it all the time. But hadn't ad it for about a year after I went vegan. I guess I sort of forgot about it, and thought it wasn't an option. WRONG! I actually prefer vegan ceasar dressing, and I feel much better eating it that I did with the fatty dairy kind. I usually just make my own, but this time I decided to use Tal Ronnen's recipe from his book, "The Conscious Cook".
This is such a great cookbook. Not an everyday thing in my kitchen because a lot of the recipes are a bit fancier and more gourmet. But everything I've tried has been very very good!
Here's his recipe for ceasar salad:
makes 4 servings
1 tbs capers, drained
1 tbs white miso paste
2 tbs nutritional yeast
1/2 tbs light agave
1 c olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 small heads of romaine, shredded
In a food processor, mince the garlic and capers. Add the veganaise, miso, nutritional yeast, agave and 1/4 c water and pulse to combine.
With the motor running slowly add the oil in a thin stream. Continue to blend until emulsified, about 1 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Onto the main!
1 package gluten free spaghettti of choice (I used brown rice)
2 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, sliced
1/2 red pepper, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, roughly diced
2 c cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 yves brand italian sausages, sliced
1 can san marzano tomatoes (If you can't find these, use regular diced tomatoes)
2 tbs dried basil (you can definitely use fresh, I just didn't have any)
2 tbs dried oregano
sea salt to taste
Begin by cooking the pasta according to package directions. you all know how to do this!
Meanwhile, heat a large pot, preferably cast iron, like a dutch oven, over medium heat. Add olive oil and allow to heat through.
Add onions, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, sausages, oregano and basil. Cook until peppers and onions have softened, stirring often. Add tomatoes and salt to taste. Bring to boil, then lower to a simmer. If you aren't in a rush, (but you probably will be because it is so fragrant and delicious, you'll want to eat it immediately), cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. This will allow the flavors to deepen a bit.
Serve with some whole grain bread, ceasar salad, and red wine if you are feeling adventurous.