Monday, September 7, 2009

Whole Wheat Penne Sauced with Tomato, Pepper and Zucchini and Sweet Italian Seitan Sausage

I wasn’t feeling very inspired today to make anything fancy or fussy. The weather is cool and dreary so I wanted a hot comfort food meal. Since we still had a few sweet Italian seitan sausages in the refrigerator I knew tonight had to be Italian food night and that meant pasta.

While this wasn’t a traditional Labor Day meal everyone enjoyed it.

Whole Wheat Penne Sauced with Tomato, Pepper and Zucchini and Sweet Italian Seitan Sausage
Serves 6


½ tablespoon canola oil
2 red onions, finely diced
6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
3 stalks of celery, finely diced including leaves
28 ounces tomatoes, diced
14 ounces tomato sauce
4 sweet Italian seitan sausages cut in half-length wise and then into ¼ inch half moons
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
2 teaspoons fennel seed
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely sliced into bite size pieces
2 zucchini cut in half-length wise and then into ½ inch half moons
13.25 ounces of whole grain penne pasta
6 quarts of boiling salted water to cook pasta
¼ cup of fresh basil, torn


Sauté the onion, garlic, and celery in the canola oil until everything is soft. Add the tomatoes, seitan, oregano, fennel, paprika and cook for at least an hour over low heat stirring occasionally. If your sauce begins to stick add a little water or white wine and continue cooking. Thirty minutes before you are ready for dinner add the red bell pepper to the sauce. Fifteen minutes before dinner add the zucchini to the sauce so that it will retain a little firm texture.

Cook the pasta two minutes less than the package directions and check it for tenderness. When the pasta is al dente, tender but a little firm, drain it and add it to the sauce and cook for another minute or two to encourage the pasta to absorb the sauce.

Tear fresh basil onto the top of the plated pasta and sauce and serve while still hot.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 486.04
Calories From Fat (9%) - 42.34

Total Fat - 4.85g
Saturated Fat - 0.29g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 641.14mg
Potassium - 917.24mg
Total Carbohydrates - 83.23g
Fiber - 15.02g
Sugar - 11.94g
Protein - 32.87g


This is definitely a comfort food meal. I love pasta with a good red sauce especially when it has sweet Italian sausage. The seitan sausage worked well in this sauce. I seasoned the sauce with the same spices that went into the sausage and it made the pasta all taste like sweet Italian sausage.

Once again omnivores and vegans enjoyed this meal. Thank goodness I finally figured out how to make seitan that is omnivore approved. It took a while, but I feel certain that I finally know the secret; thoroughly saturated whole wheat bread crumbs make a huge difference in the texture of the sausage.

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