All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014
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One pot dishes are so satisfying. Almost as satisfying as crock pot recipes. This one could be done a variety of ways. I chose to cook the onion & sausage together first & then put them aside & cook pasta. If the texture (al dente or whatever) of your pasta is critical to you – cook the pasta first, drain it & then add it to the pan after you cook the sausage up.
You could use real sausage but I don’t eat that shit – so – I used these guys.
They are labeled vegetarian but their website refers to them as vegan. Are they as powerfully flavorful as a pork version would be? No. But when you consider that – when you buy vegan sausage – nobody who started life looking like this – (photo snagged from Google)
was then forced into brutally inhumane living conditions & tortured their entire life & savagely slaughtered – well then maybe you might find the flavor concession a small price to pay to be able to eat “sausage” and still look this little guy in the face guiltlessly. That was a confusing run-on sentence but I think you get my meaning. The other advantage is that these are far less greasy & lower in calories.
I used broccoflower because I had it but broccoli or cauliflower would work, too. I love chickpeas & they are very good for you – so I added them – but they are not critical. I just like to load my pasta dishes with a lot of filling & healthy extras so that I end up eating less actual pasta. This is just a personal preference – and – I am trying to drop a few pounds before I go off to shoot a film in Mississippi next month – so – broccoflower was a perfect addition here.
One-Pot Vegan Sausage and Broccoflower Pasta with Chickpeas
Serves 2 very well
1/2 lb dry pasta
1/2 onion – diced
2 (or more) large vegan sausages
1 head broccoflower (or substitute of your choice) – cut into bite-sized florets
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas – drained
4 garlic cloves – minced
1-3 tsp crushed red pepper (I used three – but I love spice!)
3 cups vegetable stock (or water & bouillon)
1 TBS lemon just & 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
1/2 cup shredded basil – as garnish (parsley would work, too)
S&P to taste
OK – so – as I said – this can be done by either cooking & draining the pasta & broccoflower first & adding it later or, as I did, cooking the sausage & onion first. Cooking the pasta first allows you to better control how well it is cooked but doing it second infuses the pasta with veggie stock – so – your call. I am gonna list the directions as I did it.
In a large pot, heat 1-3 TBS olive oil over medium heat & saute the onion, sausage & crushed red pepper until the onion is soft & the sausage begins to brown. Not a science – just eyeball it – and when you think it is done – add the garlic & stir it in for about a minute – then set it aside.
In that same pot, add the vegetable stock, chickpeas, pasta & the lemon juice & zest. Bring to a boil & cook it according to the instructions on your pasta label – BUT – 3 minutes before the pasta is supposed to be done – add the broccoflower & cover. You MIGHT have to add a bit of water to keep things from drying out – though I did not. Cook the remaining time left of the pasta. Check it now – by testing the doneness of both the pasta & vegetable. I like my veggies with some crunch – so – this timed perfectly for me. If you feel it needs more time – keep cooking it & even add more water – if you think it needs it. If it is too wet, cook it down. When it seems ready – add the sausage & onion & stir to incorporate it. Serve with basil or parsley & shove it in your pie hole with no regard for decency. Look up pictures of cutie piglets & feel superior. You earned it.
The top video there is trailer for my novel. The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.