After a couple of years back in Chicago, I’m in the middle of another cross-country move to California. Am I crazy? Maybe. I have to admit, May is kind of a ridiculous time to leave the midwest. It’s finally sunny and warm here! While moving is exciting, it’s also really stressful. When I’m stressed and seeking comfort food, I always gravitate towards hearty pasta dishes. In this time of transition, our Creamy Spicy Vegan Sausage Pasta with Spinach is exactly what I want and need. Fill up my bowl!
I lovingly blame my obsession with carbs on my parents (thanks, mom and dad). Growing up we had no shortage of bread, noodles, and pizza on our dinner table. To this day, these are the foods that bring me comfort and joy. To lighten up what could be a really heavy meal, I used whole-wheat noodles and covered them in cashew cream sauce. This stuff is so delicious and versatile. It reminds me of vegan alfredo sauce, which is never, ever a bad thing.
For protein you can use your favorite vegan sausage (mine is Field Roast) or swap it out for roasted broccoli or fresh peas. Both of these veggies are great sources of plant-based protein. For the greens, I went with spinach but feel free to use kale, chard, or arugula – chose your own adventure. A sprinkle of hemp seeds to finish it off adds an extra punch of protein, while red chili pepper flakes bumps up the heat factor.
Our Creamy Spicy Vegan Sausage Pasta with Spinach is the ultimate vegan comfort food. It’s easily made gluten-free by using Banza Chickpea Pasta (our favorite) and a vegan and gluten-free protein source. We hope this dish becomes a weeknight favorite at your dinner table!
Our Creamy Spicy Vegan Sausage Pasta with Spinach is the ultimate vegan comfort food. It’s easily made gluten-free by using Banza Chickpea Pasta (our favorite) and broccoli or peas as your protein source.
- 8 oz. Banza Chickpea Pasta (or another gluten-free or whole-wheat pasta)
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or boiled for 10 minutes
- 1 cup water
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. paprika
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ tsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 vegan sausages, sliced into ½-inch rounds
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Hemp seeds and red chili pepper flakes, for garnish
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop the pasta in. Return to a boil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or as indicated on the packaging. Drain and rinse the pasta and return it to the pot.
- Meanwhile, add the soaked or boiled cashews, water, salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice to a high-speed blender, like a Vitamix. Blend on medium-high for 2 minutes. If you have a regular blender, blend for 4 to 5 minutes and add a touch more water as needed to keep things moving. Adjust seasonings to taste (more cayenne pepper if you like heat!)
- Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Arrange the vegan sausage pieces in a single layer and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the pieces over and cook on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn off the heat.
- Pour the sauce from your blender over the pasta and return to low heat. Add the vegan sausage pieces along with the oil from the pan. Stir in the baby spinach and warm briefly until wilted, another minute more.
- Divide the pasta between four bowls and garnish with hemp seeds and red chili pepper flakes.