Let’s talk about sausage and best friends. I love both of these things, however when best friends decide to be vegetarian, this lovely relationship becomes problematic. Until I discovered this! Now, I have tried vegetarian fake meat products before and have literally gagged while trying to prepare them. Gimme lean tastes and cooks like real sausage, and is virtually fat-free and loaded with protein. I can’t wait to try it in other recipes that call for sausage. A sausage and vegetarian lover’s new best friend.
Pumpkin Pasta with “Sausage” and Sage
serves 4-6 / adapted from this recipe
Here’s what I used:
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tube of gimme lean sausage
- 4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, + some whole leaves for garnish
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 1/2 cups veggie stock
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (1/2 can)
- 1/2 cup milk
- cinnamon (a few sprinks)
- nutmeg (a few grates)
- kosher salt and black pepper (easy on the salt — the “sausage” is on the saltier side)
- 1 pound whole wheat penne
- Parmigiano reggiano for grating
Here’s what I did:
- Put a large pot of water on to boil.
- Heat up a couple of tsps of olive oil in a large saute pan. Crumble the fake sausage into small chunks and brown evenly in hot pan for 5-6 minutes.
- While the sausage is cooking, chop up onion, garlic, and sage. Remove sausage to a plate lined with paper towels and heat up another couple of tsps oil. Cook onion, garlic, and sage (season with S&P) until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes.
- Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble.
- At this point, drop the pasta and cook 1 or 2 minute shy of package directions.
- Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in milk. Season the sauce with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and S&P, to taste. Simmer mixture about 10 minutes to thicken sauce. If it gets to thick, add more milk or stock.
- Remove the bay leaf and add drained pasta to the sausage pumpkin mixture. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with cheese and sage leaves. Stick your face in it.