Mmmm. This was a good one. PACKED with “meaty” flavors, it was really, really easy to make (okay, seriously, I need to think of new phrases for easy recipes because it’s becoming a liiiitle much). This is especially good for meat eaters because it has a smokey flavor to it brought on by the Tofutti soy sausages so if you’re trying to impress a meat eater and show them that yes, we vegetarians actually do eat more than sprouts, give this a shot.
What You Need: (serves 3-4)
1/2 package of spinach spaghetti or linguine
1 bunch of asparagus
6 or 7 sun dried tomatoes, sliced
2 Tofutti “Sausages” (or other soy sausages) sun dried tomato flavor sliced thinly
1 leek, leaves trimmed, cut down the middle and then sliced into thin half circles
3 cloves of garlic (the more garlic the better, right?), minced
olive oil spray/2 tbsps of olive oil
1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
salt and pepper
What You Do:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. After rinsing the asparagus, remove the ends. These snap off pretty easily, so there’s no need to use a knife for this part. Once the ends are off, cut each spear diagonally — about 4 pieces per spear. Lightly oil a baking sheet with OO spray, scatter asparagus on it, spray again with OO spray and top with salt and pepper. Place them in the oven for about 15 minutes. Keep your eye on them! I tend to leave things in the oven for way too long because when I roast veggies I like them really, really, roasted, but asparagus cook very quickly and extra time in the oven could end in disaster. (Trust me, I’ve been there. asparagus are NOT supposed to look and taste like green crispy french fries.) So err on the side of caution here.
While the asparagus are in the oven, bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add your pasta in and let it cook over low/medium heat as directed on the package.
While the pasta is cooking, place one tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add garlic and leeks. (Note: I typically like to go light on olive oil but feel free at any points in these directions to add more olive oil if things look too dry.) Sauté them for 3-5 minutes, making sure to keep everything moving. Add the sun dried tomatoes and “sausage” and continue to sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add the asparagus, chili pepper flakes, and final tsbp of olive oil and continue to sauté for 1 minute.
Your pasta should be done by now. Drain it, place it in a bowl, and immediately add the asparagus/tomato/sausage concoction in. Season with salt and pepper, toss and enjoy!
Note: This was my first time eating the soy sausage. At first, I was petrified to try it. It looked….gross. Really gross. Once I started cooking it and it browned a bit, I wasn’t AS scared. I tasted it in the pasta and let me tell you, it was NOT too shabby. Even Brian, who called it “the most disgusting thing he’s ever seen” when I was slicing it earlier, happily ate it. Now – would I eat this stuff plain, straight out of the fridge, stuffed between two slices of whole wheat bread? Probably not. But it added a LOT to this dish — like I said, gave it a smokey, meaty flavor so don’t be scared by what it looks like in the package, it’s actually quite good! (oh, and bonus – it’s FILLED with protein!) If my attempt at convincing you has failed and you’re still skeeved out by the mock sausage, fear not. Simply remove it from the recipe and you’re good to go!
*excuse the weird lighting in the photos. evening lighting just never cooperates!
** inspiration for this post, here.