According to my calculations, this recipe should be about 64g of protein, when you add hemp seeds (which are not pictured and optional for this recipe). I never figure out calories or macros for recipes because 1. I'm not a diet or calorie counting blog and 2. I don't feel like ever doing that. But I'm highlighting the protein because I put emphasis on my own protein consumption (I lift weights and love it!). AND because aren't we always hearing that vegans don't get enough protein? Ha! This recipe is peeerfect for the start of fall as it's hearty, super nutritious and very filling.
To make this recipe gluten-free (the plant-based sausage is not GF), use tofu, lentils or your favorite gluten-free mock meat. I used mock sausage, which is surprising to me, because when I wasn't vegan, I hated sausage. But this mock sausage is really delicious so I urge you to try different vegan meats (and cheeses while you're at it).
I added chickpeas to the sauce which turned it a beautiful orange color. I also love the creamy taste the sauce takes on and you can add any spices or more garlic if you wish. I also added the chickpeas to add more protein to the sauce. I added caramelized onions, which I made last night (recipe below)
This recipe makes 2 servings or 1 serving if you are hungry
1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce
1/2 cup of cooked chickpeas
1 cup of water
2 tbsp of italian-blend spices (all my spices come from Trader Joe's)
4 tsp of sea salt
1/4 cup of caramelized onions
1 plant-based sausage link, cut into small pieces
2 servings of high protein pasta
3 tbsp of hemp seeds (optional)
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of vegan butter
4 tbsp of maple syrup
2 tsp of sea salt
You can make the caramelized onions any time and store them in the fridge. Caramelized onions are perfect for when you have an abundance of onions and don't know what to do with them. They are absolutely delicious!
Peel an onion or a few onions. Spray a medium to large pan with olive oil or add 2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of butter to the pan and turn the heat on low-medium.
Start at the top of the onion and make slices to the bottom. Cut the tops of the onion off and spread out the onion slices into the pan with the olive oil and butter. Mix the onions with the olive oil and butter to coat all the slices. Put a lid on the pan and turn the heat to low for about 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, mix up the onions and add 2 tbsp of maple syrup, pouring it all over the onion slices. Put the lid on the pan again and let the onions continue to cook. You can add the rest of the maple syrup and sea salt after 5 minutes. You basically want all the onion slices sweet and salty, brown and soft. After you've accomplished this, store the caramelized onions into an airtight glass container.
Make the pasta according to the package.
Place the sauce, chickpeas and water in your magic bullet or food processor and process on high. The sauce will be a pretty orange color. Transfer to a pan and cut up the sausage and add to the sauce. Add the Italian spices and sea salt to the pan. Then add the caramelized onions.
When the pasta is done, drain it and add to the pan of sauce and sausage. Mix together, add hemp seeds if you wish and serve and enjoy.