Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce {Vegan}

This Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce is a dish I used to make quite frequently prior to becoming a vegetarian.  The original recipe had sweet Italian sausage in it and I now use a vegan version by Lightlife! called Gimme Lean ground beef-style product.  This is (to my knowledge) one of the only companies producing that “ground-style” replacement.  I use this to make my own meatballs, patties, etc. You could certainly use any brand of vegan ground crumbles in this dish, but I love that in breaking this up while sauteeing, you get some bigger pieces, some smaller…just as you would with the original thing.  And, you can add your own seasonings.

That being said, while Gimme Lean is seasoned, we want to add more of our own flavors.  Red Wine Vinegar, Garlic, Fennel Seeds, Salt, Pepper, Paprika and Oregano give us more of that “sausage” taste with this soy-based product.

Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce

Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce

We enhance the sauce with caramelized onions, a splash of vegan white wine, diced tomatos (liquid included), SO Delicious Almond Milk Creamer and a dollop of vegan sour cream which help make this a rich pink sauce.  The secret to this dish is in the building of flavor.  From the sauteed onions, to the reduction of the white wine, slow simmering the tomatos and finally, reducing down the sauce even further after the creamer and sour cream are added.  It becomes a rich, sweet, savory, yummy sauce.  I’ve made this recipe so many times, I feel like I just might be at “expert-status” on this one.  It has definitely been tested time and time again 🙂

Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce

Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce


The sauce is rich and thick and creamy.  I like to make just enough to dress the pasta, but if you prefer more, you could always double the recipe.  Serve with any crusty Italian bread and a sprinkle of Vegan Grated Parmesan Cheese.  Garnish with fresh parsley. There is a time and a place for dried parsley.  This isn’t it 🙂

Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce

Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce

 

Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce {Vegan}
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbl Oil (any mild flavored cooking oil of your choosing will do)
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • [u]FOR THE GROUND MIXTURE:[/u]
  • 7 oz. [url href=”http://www.lightlife.com/Vegan-Food-Vegetarian-Diet/Gimme-Lean-Beef.html”]Gimme Lean Ground “beef” Style Product[/url]
  • 1 Tbl Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp diced fresh Garlic
  • 3/4 tsp whole Fennel Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • NOTE: We made this more of a mild sausage, but you could add Red Pepper Flakes if you prefer a bit more spice!
  • [u]FOR THE SAUCE:[/u]
  • 2/3 C vegan White Wine (see [url href=”http://www.barnivore.com/”]Barnivore.com[/url] for vegan brands)
  • 15 oz. can of Diced (or Petite Diced) Tomatos (juices included!)
  • 1/4 C Water
  • 2 Tbl Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 1/2 C Almond or Coconut Milk Creamer (or almond milk + 1 tsp cornstarch if you can’t find the creamer)
  • 1-2 Tbl [url href=”http://www.tofutti.com/dairy-free-cheeses/sour-cream/better-than-sour-cream/”]vegan Sour Cream[/url]
  • [u]FOR SERVING:[/u]
  • 1/2 lb. Mini Penne Pasta
  • [url href=”http://www.goveggiefoods.com/products/grated-topping/dairy-free/parmesan”]vegan Parmesan Topping[/url]
  • Fresh Parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large preheated saute pan or deep skillet, add 1 Tbl of oil and the onion. To this, add 1 tsp of sugar. Stir frequently. The sugar helps to expedite the caramelization process. Keep a close eye that you have enough oil and that the onions don’t brown too quickly. Caramelizing the onions produces a sweetness that can only be achieved by cooking until light golden brown.
  2. In a bowl, combine the soy ground with the seasonings and mix well.
  3. Once the onions are starting to turn color, add the sausage mixture creating small clumps. You can break them up as they cook if necessary.
  4. Cook for a few minutes until they hold together and begin to brown.
  5. You pan should have brown bits on the bottom. This is flavor! Keeping the pan hot, add the white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping to remove those browned bits.
  6. Allow the wine to cook down on medium high heat until the alcohol evaporates and the liquid is almost evaporated.
  7. Add the diced tomatos with their juices and the water. I usually add the water to the can just to grab those last bits from it.
  8. Add the chopped parsley.
  9. Stir well and reduce heat to low. Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  10. Remove the lid and increase the heat back to medium high.
  11. Add the almond creamer and sour cream. Whisk to combine and taste for seasoning. I usually adjust with salt and pepper at this point.
  12. Allow to bubble (uncovered) and reduce the sauce by nearly half.
  13. Cook pasta to package instructions.
  14. Serve with a sprinkle of vegan parmesan topping and fresh parsley.
  15. I always have a nice crusty loaf ready to mop up those flavorful juices.
  16. This recipe makes 4 servings. If you prefer more sauce to pasta ratio, double the sauce recipe.
  17. Uncovered,

 

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