Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Vegan MoFo 23: Pasta with Broccoli and (Tofurky) Sausage

So as promised, we did the big farmers' market shop this weekend. We got there a little earlier than usual, which is nice because the market gets uncomfortably crowded by mid-morning.

I had already chosen three fall recipes from How to Pick a Peach by Russ Parsons, so we set out to find our ingredients. Surprisingly, broccoli for the Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage was the biggest challenge. There was plenty of broccoli, but a lot of it looked like it was harvested too late into its growing cycle.

I should mention that reading that book reminded me to support my local farmers, but I think it also has influenced me to be a dick about produce. In fact, I had a giggle fit as I watched a shopper direct her friend to smell "that sweet broccoli aroma" on a particularly yellowed and crumbly head of broccoli.

"That is exactly what you should be looking for," she explained and looked happy when her friend bought the most pathetic stalk of the bunch.

I did find broccoli that was in good shape though, so I was able to move on. The broccoli was huge, and I could have multiplied the recipe by 6 from this one head. We made the dish that night, replacing the sausage with Tofurky Italian Sausages. We went ahead and used the whole package, and added a little more broccoli than called for. I was feeling lazy, so rather than making some proper Parmesan substitute, we just dumped a bunch of nutritional yeast in the pot.

At the first bite, we decided that the dish needed some heat, and we added some red pepper flakes. Perfect! We couldn't stop eating it, which is normally fine, but we had cocktail plans with people who had made an effort to provide vegan snacks, so we wanted to go with our appetites intact.

This dish will be in the regular rotation, I'm sure. I really want to try it with some crumbled tempeh in the future, and red pepper flakes will always be added with the nutritional yeast.

This dish went so well that I have high hopes for the Mushroom Hash that I'll be making next.

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