Pasta with Black Grapes, Fennel and Vegan Sausage

Oh my goodness, finally some food with a picture!

pasta, sausage, grapes & fennel

It seems the only time I cook these days it’s either dark out because it’s after 5PM, or it’s really overcast, so picture taking has been a problem.  I really need to get myself a tripod and a couple of other mirrors to help with this!

Every now and then, I watch Rachael Ray.  She’s annoying, but I don’t have cable and like watching food-type shows, so there you go.  I saw her make this a few weeks ago, and it looked really good.  My version was good, but you have to weigh that against that the fact that it takes four pans to cook.  The original recipe calls for braising the sausages; I found that didn’t work all that well with Field Roast Sausages- they were falling apart at the end.  It might not be a bad idea to braise them quickly for the extra moisture, but I’m going to say just pan fry them.  I don’t know how it would work out with homemade or a different brand of vegan sausage.  One other note:  I did thickened soymilk for this, but I wasn’t crazy about it.  I might try silken tofu in the future, if you’re looking for other ideas.

Pasta with Black Grapes, Fennel and Vegan Sausage

2-4 Vegan Sausages, Italian Style
2 Cups black grape
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 lb whole wheat fettucini
1.5 cups soy milk
1 small bulb fennel, sliced with fronds reserved
1 medium sweet onion, sliced
1 Tbs vegan margarine
1 Tbs four
salt and pepper
oil for the pans

1.  Put on a pot of salted water, and bring to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to package directions.  Drain and reserve.  Best to time this so the sauce will be done around the same time.
2.  Mix margarine and flour over medium heat in a small saucepan.  Add soymilk and whisk all together; add reserved fennel fronds.  Heat over medium and reduce until thickened.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
3.  Heat 1 Tbs oil in a pan and fry sausage links (if you want it braised, do that before frying).  Add grapes and balsamic to pan, and cook over medium heat until vinegar is syrupy and grape skins pop.
4.  Sauté onion and fennel in a bit of oil (I used less than a teaspoon but I was using a non-stick pan.  Use your judgement).  Cook until onions are browned.
5.  Add the drained pasta, fennel and onions and cream sauce together and mix.
6.  Plate the pasta mixture, and serve grapes and sausage on top or to the side.
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