All posts tagged pasta

Easy Penne with Italian Sausage and Kale

Published February 20, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


Here’s something that I threw together last night pretty quickly. Sometimes it’s more about getting something good together fast than making an elaborate meal, but this ended up tasting like it took much longer! I threw some kale in the mix for nutrients, color and texture.

Easy Penne with Italian Sausage
4-6 generous servings

olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 tsp. thyme
salt & fresh ground pepper
crushed red pepper flakes, optional

1 package of Tofurky Italian sausages (4), cut into bite sized pieces

28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1/3-1/2 bag of chopped frozen greens (I used kale)

1 lb of pasta, I used whole grain penne, cooked al dente according to package directions


1. Add a little olive oil to a medium pot on low-medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, and cover. Let them sweat for about 5 minutes while you chop the sausages.

2. Mix in the seasonings, and bring heat up to medium. Add the sausages, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so you can get a little brown on the sausage.

3. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and greens, and cover to simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

4. Combine with pasta and sprinkle with a little nutritional yeast to serve!


Vegan Iron Chef Ty: a self imposed challenge

Published April 27, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

This challenge came about because the basil that I had intended to use for Thursday’s meal was dead in the fridge by Wednesday. Of course, if I had read the instructions on the hydroponic packaging first, I wouldn’t have put it in the fridge, but rather in a glass of water on the counter as suggested, but hindsight is 20/20. RECIPE AT THE END! : )

So… enter Thursday, the weekend approaching and produce that still needed using up. I decided a pasta dish was in order and this is what I had to work with…


I decided to bake the tofu in the 1/2 jar of marinara sauce I had left over. Since I found sprouted, pre-pressed tofu, I’ve been using it almost exclusively as a time saver. I simply cut it into squares, tossed them in the sauce and baked for 20 minutes.


I was out of garlic, so I used some shallots and red onions as my base for a from scratch sauce. I used a little red wine to deglaze the pot.


Here the fresh tomatoes go in with a bunch of spices…


I added some frozen, chopped spinach at the very end of the sauce. Just a few minutes to heat through, but so that it stays nice and bright.


And here is everyone in, and tossed around to thoroughly combine.


Angel Hair w/ Tofu, Spinach & Greenbeans

8 oz package of thin pasta of choice, cooked al dente according to instructions
1/2 lb of green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces, added to cooking pasta for last 6-7 minutes!

1/2 jar of marinara sauce
1 block of pressed tofu, firm or extra firm

Olive oil for misting pot
1 shallot, chopped finely
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
2 large tomatoes, chopped
Splash of red wine, optional (I used some cabernet)

1/2 tsp. of garlic powder (I was out of fresh!)
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. of thyme
pinch of rosemary
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper
crushed red pepper for heat

~1 c. of crushed tomatoes
1-2 c. of chopped frozen spinach


1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400*F. Pour half of jar sauce into a baking dish. (An 8×8 or glass pie dish works great!) Add tofu squares and cover with remaining sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20-30 minutes. (I baked for 20 minutes and turned off the toaster oven, and just let it sit until I was ready.)

2. (Set your pasta water to boil!) Mist a medium pot with olive oil and raise to medium heat. Add shallots and onions, and cook for about 5 minutes, until golden and softened. (If you have some garlic, add a clove or two, minced here! I was out!) Pour in a splash of red wine if using, and let it cook off for a minute or two.

3. Add tomatoes and spices of your liking, and cover to simmer for 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer until pasta is almost ready. Mix in the frozen chopped spinach a few minutes before the pasta is done.

4. Add green beans to cooking pasta for last 6-7 minutes. Drain, return to pot, add sauce, and tofu and sauce and combine well. Top with nutritional yeast and/or vegan parm. Enjoy!



This was pretty good! Still got a nice, fresh tasting dish, even with some of the jar sauce mixed in. The baked tofu gave it a nice mozzarella type feel, and the green beans cooked up perfectly. Yum!

Easy Vegan Meat Sauce w/ Penne & Cheezy Bread

Published November 3, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

This satisfying meal came together really quickly and easily for a great weeknight dinner with some simple shortcuts. A jar of sauce helps speed the pasta along, and I had proofed a thawed dough ball (from a local pizzaria) that I had frozen in the freezer.

Easy Vegan Meat Sauce w/ Penne

1 jar of pasta sauce
1 c. of TVP
1 c. of water
1 veggie bouillon cube
2 tsp. Italian seasonings
Salt & Pepper
crushed red pepper flakes, optional


1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to box directions for al dente texture.

2. Meanwhile, pour jar of pasta sauce into a saucepan with 1 c. of TVP, 1 c. of water, and a veggie bouillon cube. Add Italian seasoning, salt & pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, if using. Heat until bubbly over medium heat. Cover and simmer on low until pasta is ready, adjusting seasonings to taste.

3. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add sauce and nutrtional yeast, and combine. Top individual portions with vegan parm.


Cheezy Bread

Olive oil for misting
1 medium pizza dough ball
Garlic powder
Daiya vegan cheeses, I like using a combination of mozarella and cheddar


1. Preheat oven to 450*F and prepare cookie sheet or baking pan if not using a pizza stone. (Mine broke!)

2. Roll out pizza dough and score with a dinner knife without cutting all the way through. Spray with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with garlic powder. Cover generously with shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes.



Italian Feast: Roasted Garlic & Tomato Basil Pasta with Moussaka Pizza and Cheesesticks

Published April 10, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

So I went all out for this Italian themed Sunday feast. I had picked up a medium and large dough ball from my local pizzeria on the way home from work Friday, and I really wanted a roasted garlic sauce to go with some fresh tomatoes and basil. I totally winged this sauce and I thought it came out pretty awesome. I ended up making pizza sauce by using up some leftover tomato paste and adding some Italian spices, salt & pepper, and veggie stock to thin it out. This doubled as the dipping sauce for the cheesesticks. I got to use up some of the leftover [Veganomicon] moussaka I made earlier in the week by dismantling it and using it as an amazing pizza topping. I couldn’t believe how great that combination came out on the pizza. Somehow I managed to get everything done and still hot, so that was nice too!

Roasted Garlic & Tomato Basil Pasta

8 oz desired pasta shape, cooked according to box instructions (I used farfalle)

1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small to medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
10 cloves of garlic
1 large shallot, sliced thinly
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
pinch of Italian seasoning (I use and Italian blend grinder that has salt & pepper too)
Salt & Pepper (but I still used a little extra sea salt & fresh ground pepper)
Olive oil for misting

1/2 c. vegan parm
1 tbsp. vegan mozzarella/Daiya Italian shreds (it was what i had left after the pizza making ; )
about 8 big basil leaves, sliced into chiffonade (see note below!)


1. Preheat oven to 400*F. Lightly mist an 8×8 baking dish with olive oil.

2. Combine tomatoes, garlic, shallots, balsamic, and seasonings in prepared pan and spray lightly with olive oil. Bake for 30-35 minutes. (I baked in the toaster oven because I had the big oven going with the pizzas, so I covered it with foil (to keep from burning) for the first 20 minutes, and then uncovered for 15 minutes.)

3. Toss with freshly drained pasta, add vegan parm, mozzarella, and basil. (NOTE: to chiffonade basil take the leaves and pile them on top of each other. Roll them up and slice thinly. Presto. You look fancy. This was my first time doing it!)

Serve with a little extra basil on top for garnish, and enjoy!

(sorry for the blurry pic!)

Lots of yumminess ready for roasting.

Getting those lovely bites of melt-in-your-mouth garlic was amazing. Really nice with the fresh basil that I clipped from my new patio herb garden!

And now for the cheesesticks & pizza…

I scored the dough with a dinner knife so that they’d be easy to pull apart once cooked, but wouldn’t fall apart during the process.

I then lightly misted with olive oil, sprinkled with garlic powder and added Daiya cheddar and italian shreds.

Mist once more with olive oil and sprinkle with a little more garlic powder and vegan parm if you like.

After kneading and stretching the dough, make sure you stab it a billion times with a fork to keep the air bubbles at bay.

Here is the dismantled moussaka turned pizza toppings: thinly sliced, roasted eggplant, zucchini, and potatoes and a few dots of the almond cream sauce over the tomato paste based sauce I made.

And here it is all melty with Daiya goodness and ready to hit the table.

It was a true feast!

Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and TVP

Published November 1, 2010 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

CPV has hit the 4k mark! Thanks to all my readers : )

The last time I made this, it was in the inventing phase and I added the TVP in the day after to get the right balance of savory & sweet. This time I used whole wheat elbows and red onions, and it was super yummy! I used about 1/3 c. of nutritional yeast & roasted the veggies for a good 45 minutes, so the squash melted into the pasta. You can use whatever winter squash you’ve got around, but don’t forget to save & toast the seeds!

here’s the link to my original recipe!!


Baked Penne with TVP

Published June 6, 2010 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

so i really wanted some italian food for dinner tonight.  i also didn’t want to make a grocery trip & wanted to use some TVP. i went through a bunch of books for inspiration, and found the baked ziti in quick and easy vegan comfort food, pg. 123. mine is a little stepped up version since i had extra time to spend today, but her version would be great for a weekday.

the other nice thing is i have it in the fridge all ready to go until i’m ready to bake it.

ps- a frugal thing i’ve been doing is using vegan bouillion cubes for broth. a box of 8 cubes is about $2 and change, and makes 16 cups!

Baked Penne with TVP

Olive oil or butter for 9×13 pan

1 lb. of cooked short pasta, penne, ziti, etc.

1 c. veg broth
1.5 tsp. liquid smoke
1 c. TVP

1 jar of marinara sauce
1 14.5 oz can of diced/chopped/stewed tomatoes, drained
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1/2 c. veg broth
1/2 c. onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. crushed red peppers, optional
1/2 c. nutritional yeast, optional
salt & pepper

2 c. shredded vegan mozzarella, i use daiya italian shreds
vegan parmesean, optional


1. Pre-heat oven to 350* and cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Boil 1 cup of vegetable broth and liquid smoke in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and add TVP. Stir until liquid is absorbed.

3. Return drained pasta to pot and add all ingredients except vegan mozzarella and vegan parm. the nutritional yeast gives it a nice creaminess.

4. Place half of pasta mixture into 9×13 prepared dish. Top with half of mozzarella and sprinkle with vegan parm, if using. Repeat layers.

5. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Broil on high for a few minutes to get a nice crust.

Ty’s easy italian feast

Published March 19, 2010 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Buona sera! i bring you Ty’s italian feast. : )

these are two recipes i improvised that i think go really well together. i used spinach fettuccine, but you can use whatever pasta you have on hand. the meat sauce takes a cheat by using a good jar of basic pasta sauce, but no one will know if you don’t tell them! especially once they start shoveling garlic bread into their mouths. there is plenty of sauce to sop up with the bread too. Round out the meal with a salad if you have the fixin’s.

Garlic Bread

1 loaf of italian or french bread
2 smaller loaves

2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley, or 1 tbsp fresh
1 tsp olive oil
1/3 c. non-hydrogenated vegan buttery spread, softened
3 tbsp vegan parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine spread, garlic, oregano, parsley, olive oil and parm. Either cut loaves in half lengthwise, or make 1″ slits vertically, but not all the way through bread. spread mixture on both sides of cuts. Wrap in foil and bake for 12 minutes in oven. if you have any leftover garlic parm butter, you can store it in the fridge for a couple of days in a ramekin covered with plastic wrap. Spread it on toast, bagels, pizza crust, etc.

Ty’s cheater “meat” sauce with pasta

3 tbsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 bag of “meat” crumbles
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley
crushed red pepper to taste ( i use a lot, over a tbsp)
1 jar basic pasta sauce

a few grinds of sea salt to pasta water
16 oz favorite pasta shape
Vegan parm for topping, optional.

Set salted pot of water to boil. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over med-hi heat, add garlic and onions, cook 2-3 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Lower heat to medium and add “beef” crumbles, add more olive oil if necessary. When crumbles are heated through, add jar of pasta sauce and oregano, parsley and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits at bottom. Cover, and simmer until pasta is ready. Cook pasta according to instructions on box. Top cooked pasta with sauce and some vegan parm, throw some garlic bread on there, and enjoy!

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