This Vegan Penne with Sausage, Eggplant, and Tomato comes together quickly. It is a flavorful and satisfying dish to feed a family or share at a potluck.
Vegan Penne with Sausage and Eggplant Started with a Friend
I know I’m not the only vegan who loves the challenge of veganizing non-vegan recipes. This is especially true if the non-vegan version gets rave reviews or comes from a great cook. This penne dish checks both of those boxes.
The original recipe came from my friend, Marie, whom I met through my sister. Marie is an excellent and generous cook; food is one of her love languages. She loves to prepare and serve amazing meals to family and friends. For example, the first time I was at her house for lunch with my sister, she prepared five different vegan dishes—and I was the only vegan there. That’s what I am talking about.
Anyway, when my sister raved to me about this pasta dish several times, I felt the challenge. When I got the recipe from Marie, I was pleased to see that creating a vegan version would be pretty straightforward.
What About Vegan Sausage?
The biggest challenge was finding the proper vegan sausage. If you have tried commercially available vegan sausage, you know the range of texture and taste is quite extensive.
In Marie’s recipe, the specifications for the sausage were highlighted. (I have never highlighted a recipe before, but what a great idea.) Words highlighted: sweet, WITH FENNEL (yes in caps), casing removed, crumbled. Finding a product that would provide those qualities, or something similar, was vital.
Our Choices for Plant-Based Sausage
In our opinion, the best plant-based sausages commonly available in markets for this recipe are from Field Roast and Beyond. There are certainly other brands and choices but we don’t want to send people off on a search for a hard-to-get product just to make a recipe of our’s. For this recipe the Field Roast Italian Garlic and Fennel Sausage is our go-to choice. The taste and texture is excellent, it cooks up nicely, and preserves the taste profile of the original recipe. If you cannot find the Field Roast we also like the Beyond Italian Sausage but that will transform the dish into hot and spicy. Not a problem, just a lot different.
Vegan Penne with Sausage and Eggplant is a Crowd Pleaser
Not only is this a big-pot dish that will satisfy a hungry family or at a get-together with friends, but it is also perfect as a Sunday meal prep for the week-to-come option.
Vegan Penne with Sausage and Eggplant is a Favorite
This is a meal that comes together pretty fast and goes from “what’s for dinner?” to “time to eat” in a flash. Great for those busy days when everyone gets home late and you need to come up with something. Life is a little calmer for us these days, but we still appreciate a tasty, satisfying meal that doesn’t require a lot of fuss. This one is on the regular rotation with us. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. If you make it, please let us know in the comments below and share on social media (don’t forget to tag us!).
This Vegan Penne with Sausage, Eggplant, and Tomato comes together quickly. It is a flavorful and satisfying dish to feed a family or share at a potluck and perfect for those hungry family short on time dinnertimes.
1cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped, divided in 1/2
1/4cup Cashew Cream or plant-based creamer
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot red pepper flakes—about 1/4 tsp or to taste
1 large eggplant with skin on, cut into approximately 1″ cubes
2 small onions, cut into quarters, and then thin slices
preheat your oven to 450°
prep all ingredients
Combine eggplant, onion, some salt and pepper, and a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl
lightly oil a large-rimmed baking pan, or a sheet pan, and spread the eggplant mixture evenly on it
Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden (you may opt for a short time under the broiler at the end).
lightly oil a large frying pan and sauté the sausage until browned, stirring frequently because it will have a tendency to stick
next, add the crushed tomatoes and 1/2 cup parsley to the sausage, and sauté for an additional 10 minutes
Add the cashew cream/plant-based creamer and the roasted vegetables. Simmer for about five minutes
At the same time, cook your penne. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water when finished
Add the penne to the sauce in the pan, salt and pepper if needed, and hot pepper flakes
stir in the rest of the parsley and, if the sauce is too thick, some of the cooking water. Hint: the sauce should be pleasantly thick
You can find the Field Roast line of sausages in most large markets. We think the Garlic and Fennel work the best, but you can experiment with other flavors, and brands, according to availability and your taste.
Georgia is an unpretentious foodie who, at 50, transitioned from a vegetarian diet to a whole foods plant based diet and is loving it. She works as a nurse, plays as a quilter, loves to run, hates to race.
She thinks dogs are actually angels (in dog suits).