Friday, 8 April 2011

Tomato, Mushroom, and Sausage Pasta

Ok, so this isn't exactly what was in my pasta recipe but I loved the picture so much that I couldn't resist using it.  If only my presentation was that neat on a regular basis!

As I procrastinated this morning by watching "Under the Tuscan Sun," I realized that perhaps I have a slight Italian addiction of late.  Maybe it is the good weather or perhaps my time in Italy left me more homesick than my time in France, which would surprise even me.  These are my top two favorite countries; i've lived in both and cannot get enough of either but in hindsight, I think Italy might be pulling ahead.  Yesterday I watched "Letters to Juliet," a cute movie that takes place in Verona, today was "Under the Tuscan Sun," shot not far from my village, and when I think about it, three out of my four go to movies these days are Italian.

The recipe I promised above is more of the same, I seem to be in love with pastas reminiscent of those I cooked up in Italy on warm evenings with all the doors and windows open.

So, going with my Italian theme, tonight I put some tagliatelle on while I chopped up vegan sausage (it tastes like real sausage!), tomatoes, and baby portobello mushrooms, sauteed them in a bit of oil, and then added a small container of soya coffee creamer, and seasoned it with pepper, garlic, salt, and oregano before I threw in the pasta.
Pasta in a cream sauce with mushrooms at a restaurant
in Viterbo.
I know the coffee creamer might sound strange but if you're looking for an easy vegan pasta sauce that is not tomato based, all you need is a bit of soy, liquid coffee creamer as a base and it will soak up the light flavor of the mushrooms or whatever you want to add.  The creamer is my substitute for the Italian Panna Cotta which is a thick cream that starts out flavorless and develops a light, alfredo taste as it simmers but you can flavor it anyway you wish.  The spices I used, come from the standard seasonings of the part of Italy in which I lived.  The rules were simple- you never had enough salt or pepper, garlic couldn't hurt, and the light cream base is traditionally served in any seafood or mushroom dish.  As I am vegan, this is probably the closest to seafood I will get but it definitely took me back to risotto and penne al mare.

Try it out and don't be afraid to play with the flavors!  I love pasta because it is so easy to throw anything in and create a new dish and if you use whole wheat pasta, it is actually really healthy.
Pasta with a bag of frozen vegetables and some bread
and olive oil with red wine vinegar; so easy!

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