I brought home some Jimmie Dean, er "Gimme Lean," soy-based sausage substitute yesterday.
My husband, Andy, asked: if we are going plant based why do we want something that simulates meat?
Ok, point taken. I agree. I admit to having a bit of distaste for recipes that mimic meat. I do think, however, that a hearty protein-filled dish now and again can be fulfilling.
I was also thinking that when my nephews visit it might be nice to cook them up something healthy that they might enjoy. So, I experimented with "Gimme Lean" sausage and the results were actually … excellent. Andy ate a full bowl. He grumbled a little but I could tell he enjoyed the meal. With salad.
This is a very flexible recipe, so feel free to change quantities and ingredients as fits your mood and your pantry.
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
3–4 tbs of wine, vegetable broth, or water
10 oz whole wheat penne pasta - or other substantially shaped pasta
1/2 roll Gimme Lean sausage
2 cans diced tomatoes. I used one can garlic and herbs and one can oregano and basil.
Lots of fresh thyme, oregano, and basil. Or a substantial sprinkling of dried Italian herbs.
In a large, non-stick skillet, sprinkle a generous pinch of salt, a chopped onion, and minced garlic cloves. Heat until the onion and garlic start to brown on the edges. Deglaze the pan with wine, broth, or water.
Add the Gimme Lean sausage and break into small pieces with a wooden utensil.
Add the cans of diced tomatoes and continue to break down the sausage.
Add herbs and pepper.
Let the mixture simmer solidly on high while you cook the pasta, according to package directions.
Once the pasta is done, add it to the sausage and tomato mixture and stir thoroughly.
Serve with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.