Pasta with Peppers and Italian Seitan Sausage

by on October 22, 2008
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Pasta with Peppers and Seitan SausageI don’t know what happened to revolutionize the way whole wheat pasta is produced, but something must have. It’s evolved, in my opinion, from a heavy, grainy-tasting, fall-apart-if-you-slightly-overcook-it punishment for eating healthy into a delicious food that my whole family enjoys.

I decided a few years ago that when it came to pasta, I’d stick with flavor over nutrition and use regular semolina or rice pasta for those rare times when I cook pasta. Then I started following Weight Watchers’ Core program, which allows limited amounts of whole wheat pasta, and I decided to give it one last try. To my surprise, the newer ww pastas are lighter and less starchy than the dark whole wheat pasta I used to buy from the bulk bin of the health food store, and instead of tasting chalky or grainy, they’re either pleasantly bland or slightly nutty (which actually works well with heartier sauces and seasonings). My daughter no longer complains when I use whole wheat pasta–in fact, she doesn’t seem to notice at all. I still consider pasta an occasional treat, but I no longer feel like I have to give it up completely–or suffer through arrabbiata that tastes like cardboard!

If you haven’t given whole wheat pasta a try recently, give it another chance. If you’re not sure which brand to buy, check out this taste test of 5 of the better whole wheat pastas.

A nuttier-tasting whole wheat pasta will work well with this recipe, with its flavorful roasted peppers and highly-seasoned vegan sausage. I’ve been craving vegan sausage for a while, and I finally got around to making up an Italian version of the Irish sausages I made around St. Patrick’s Day. Both recipes were inspired by Julie Hasson, whose steaming method produces the most tender gluten sausages I’ve ever made. Of course, if you make this pasta with packaged sausage rather than homemade, you’ll be able to get this dish on the dinner table in under a half hour…but I think you’ll be missing out on some seriously good sausages!

Pasta with Peppers and Sausage


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SusanV August 23, 2009 at 3:42 pm

When the blog moved to Wordpress in 2010, all of these old comments were lost:

Happy Herbivore! said…

This reminds me of a dish I used to eat as an omni. It sounds great, thanks Susan!

10:56 AM, October 22, 2008
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Colleen said…

Sounds wonderful. It is finally getting to be sausage weather here in the southwest and I am looking forward to making this particular sausage. Is the oatmeal in the sausage cooked or dry and do you use rolled or steel cut?

12:11 PM, October 22, 2008
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Jen said…

Is it possible to make a gluten-free version of these sausages? Is there an ingredient standardly used as a replacement in recipes calling for gluten?
Thanks so much,
Jen

1:48 PM, October 22, 2008
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pb said…

hi susan,

I have not yet tried the ready made vegan sausages since i was never a sausage eater anyway.. but i like the fact that we will know what goes into it if its homemade..

is wheat gluten the same as seitan and is it tofu like, or are you using some kind of powder? where do we get that?

thanks..
pb

2:29 PM, October 22, 2008
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allularpunk said…

i don’t really mind whole wheat pasta, but my live-in boyfriend HATES it. it’s such a pain to try to eat healthy pasta with him, because all he does is complain about how gross it is. bummer.

2:52 PM, October 22, 2008
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Jaime said…

That looks divine! I’ve been searching for a vegetarian/vegan sausage recipe. Looks like I’ve found one.
Thanks!

4:09 PM, October 22, 2008
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Gymmie said…

Hi Susan!

In the ingredient list there is no cashew butter, but it’s in the instructions. Is that missing or is that what should be the tahini/olive oil?

Can you bake these? I don’t have a steamer right now or is there a way to get the same effect a different way?

Tks :)

6:50 PM, October 22, 2008
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shelby said…

Your sausage sounds amazing! I’ve never heard of oats in a sausage but thats what makes your sound so delicious =)

7:47 PM, October 22, 2008
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familyman said…

I’ve noticed that about Whole Wheat Pasta also. I don’t think my family even notices when I make it now.

11:37 PM, October 22, 2008
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Robin said…

Hey Miss Susan! I thought of you and your blog today at Books-A-Million while I was looking through the Veggie cooking books. :) We are going to Kroger tomorrow to pick up a few things and you’ve given me some terrific ideas.

Isn’t this just the best time of year for photo ops outside, too?! Love it! Have a wonderful Thursday, Robin

12:03 AM, October 23, 2008
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Jessica said…

Wow.. I’m living in the Netherlands now and for my birthday my mom sent me a box full of food I really miss, including Zataran’s jambalaya rice mix, you know those “Just add the meat”. In America we always made it with Melissa’s Soyrizo (Soy Chorizo) but we were both extremely tempted to buy real Chorizo in a longing to recreate the past. Now I can just made this delicious sausage delicious! We have some habaneros sitting around so I think i’ll use one!

Thanks Susan!

4:11 AM, October 23, 2008
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pixiepine said…

This looks delicious! I think I am going to get over my fear of making vegan sausage and go for it!

8:53 AM, October 23, 2008
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SusanV said…

Jen, I wish I knew of a gluten-free way to make these sausages, but the gluten is what holds them together. I’ve made sausages from soy before–tofu and/or tempeh–but they don’t have the same texture. Still, some Italian-seasoned tempeh would make a good substitute for the sausage in this recipe.

PB–The vital wheat gluten is a powder that you can buy in natural food stores. Seitan is a food made of gluten that has been simmered in broth. Sometimes people use the term seitan to mean any meat substitute made of gluten, and in that sense, these would be considered seitan sausages.

Gymmie, thanks for the heads-up about the recipe. I forgot to change that part when adapting my Irish sausages recipe. It’s been fixed now.

As for steaming, do you have a metal colander that you can set over a pan of boiling water? If so, you can put the sausages in it and put a cover over them. If not, you could bake them, but I’m not sure how much time you should give them; also, baking will make them tougher and drier. Rather than take the chance, I’d suggest making my Veggeroni, which is a baked sausage.

9:09 AM, October 23, 2008
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Mean Mel said…

I only eat whole wheat pasta, unless I’m eating out, and I have noticed a BIG change in the last couple years. My whole wheat pasta hating boyfriend can’t even tell the difference now!

And I’m going to have to try those sausages. I love the Everyday Dish version, so these sound great!

1:31 PM, October 23, 2008
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Mean Mel said…

BTW, that last comment and this one are actually from Bianca of Vegan Crunk. I’m using the receptionist’s computer at work and she is Mean Mel.

1:32 PM, October 23, 2008
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Trish said…

These sound soooo very good!

I have got to try these this weekend.

Thank you!

3:59 PM, October 23, 2008
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Gymmie said…

Thanks so much Susan!

Yes I’ll try the colander method as well :)

4:22 PM, October 23, 2008
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Victoria said…

Mmm that looks really hearty, can’t wait to give it a go

6:02 PM, October 23, 2008
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Zoey said…

Hi Susan,

That pasta looks delicious. Do you follow the WW Core program?

11:03 PM, October 24, 2008
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Tia said…

Your recipes always look so delicious, and you use a lot of nutritional yeast. I can’t seem to find any at whole foods, any suggestions?

10:54 AM, October 25, 2008
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Naomi Strange said…

I never comment but I read your blog all the time. I should start commenting, I know that half the joy of blogging is receiving comments! Anyway, I adore your photos and recipes. Thank you so much for sharing them. I adore your blog and have spent many a hungry moment at work staring (and drooling) at your blog! :)

2:36 PM, October 25, 2008
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Bex said…

Thanks for the sausage recipe. I’m loving making my own.

8:45 PM, October 25, 2008
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Bethany said…

now that you mention it, I think there is a difference in ww pasta between now and a few years ago. I had some recently and wondered why I didn’ like it before.

your pasta looks so delicious. but then again, all of your dishes look that way :)

4:53 PM, October 26, 2008
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Kake said…

Thanks for this; I made the sausages this evening and they’re chilling in the fridge right now for use tomorrow. A preliminary taste test suggests they’re going to be pretty good!

Also, just a note for anyone who might have been put off trying this by the lack of metric measurements: I used 40g of oatmeal, 150g of gluten powder, 225ml of water, and the rest of the ingredients as given.

5:57 PM, October 26, 2008
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I Am Gluten Free said…

Do you think vital wheat flour can be replaced with a gluten free flour?

9:46 PM, October 26, 2008
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SusanV said…

I’m sorry, I Am Gluten Free. Gluten is an essential ingredient in these sausages. It provides the structure that keeps them from falling apart. Anything else would result in a rock-like, unleavened bread, I’m afraid.

12:38 PM, October 27, 2008
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Claire said…

I’m not a complete convert to whole wheat pasta, but I do switch to it for hearty sauces like this one. Thanks for the taste test, and the amazing recipe! It’s good to know that I could still enjoy some of my favorites even going vegan.

4:28 PM, October 27, 2008
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Anonymous said…

I would like to try this recipe this weekend, but like Colleen, I am unsure if I am to use cooked oatmeal or dry coarsely ground oats. Could you please clarify this for me?

Thank you!

8:03 AM, October 30, 2008
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SusanV said…

Sorry, Anon and Coleen, that I missed your question before. Use regular, uncooked oats (I used Quaker regular(rolled) oats, but quick oats will also work).

8:14 AM, October 30, 2008
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Shannon said…

Wow, these sausages were amazing! They were even better than the ones you buy pre-made at the store, I know what it is in them, and they are much less expensive, too! I could do without fausages, but my hubby loves them, so I do buy them occasionally, grumbling at the $1/ea. price tag. No more! They’re really easy to make, too!

2:03 PM, November 04, 2008
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lauren said…

these look so good! however, i don’t have a steamer! is there an alternate way to cook/set them? am i missing something?

3:42 PM, December 07, 2009
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Jaime said…

AWESOME! I am SOOO happy to have discovered . . . Your blog!!!and
Seitan and this AMAZING recipe. Thank you SOOOO much!

11:48 PM, December 27, 2009

Reply

2 lauren December 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm

these look so good! however, i don't have a steamer! is there an alternate way to cook/set them? am i missing something?

Reply

3 Jaime December 28, 2009 at 12:48 am

AWESOME! I am SOOO happy to have discovered . . . Your blog!!!and
Seitan and this AMAZING recipe. Thank you SOOOO much!

Reply

4 Barb Sturdy May 6, 2010 at 12:03 pm

I have been looking at your website and recipes and am going to try some of them. I have printed off a couple to make tonight. I am sure I will enjoy. Looking forward to more recipes.

Thank you,

Reply

5 Jeff October 23, 2010 at 4:11 pm

This looks delicious. The Tofurky sausages would be good in this, but they are far from low fat.

I’m still not a huge fan of whole wheat pasta, but I do love spelt pasta (which, being a whole grain means that I can still get my healthy pasta fix)!

Reply

6 Lynne October 21, 2011 at 11:11 am

I wish I liked vegan sausage. I think it tastes like ground cardboard with spices. Does anyone have a favorite that I could try?

Reply

7 Amy February 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm

My goodness! I made the sausage portion of this recipe and served it with your Macaroni and Cheeze recipe. So easy and everyone enjoyed it. I’ll definitely make this again :-) Thanks!

Reply

8 Marilou Garon March 6, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Hello Susan,
Do seitan sausages freeze well If so, does cooking time/method change once defrosted?
Many thanks in advance!

Reply

9 Susan Voisin March 7, 2012 at 8:45 am

I think that once they’re cooked, you can freeze them. Then all you have to do it defrost and heat them to make them ready to eat.

Reply

10 Erica October 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I do not have a steamer, what else can you use to cook these? Is it possible to make your own “steamer”?

Reply

11 Katie October 24, 2012 at 11:50 am

I’ve placed a metal collander in an inch of water in a large pot with a lid to use as a “steamer”

Reply

12 Ginny October 19, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Thanks for all your posts.
You should try spelt pasta if you can get it where you live. It is pricey, but as an occasional treat, it’s worth the money. Also, I don’t think Spelt has gluten if that is a concern for you.

Reply

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