But for those of you who just have to have your pasta, here is an indulgent dish that tastes as beautiful as it looks. I call it Three Green Pasta because it is filled with a bounty of green goodness: broccoli, asparagus and spinach pasta. Bell peppers and grape tomatoes add flavor as well as color and the Vegan Italian sausage is an added treat.
A multitude of flavors abound in this dish between the nutty broccoli and asparagus, the sweetened grape tomatoes, the spicy sausage and the red pepper infused garlic oil. They all play well together in this dish that looks as fresh and healthy as summer itself.
3 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. Olive oil
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 links Vegan Italian sausage, sliced
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 lb. broccoli florets
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
2 bell peppers, any color, diced
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 lb. Spinach pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried oregano
Vegan grated parmesan (optional)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
When the oven is heated, arrange the broccoli, asparagus and grape tomatoes on baking sheets. Add salt and pepper to taste, spray or drizzle some olive oil on them and roast about 20 minutes, turning once. The broccoli and asparagus should be browned and the grape tomatoes will burst.
When the veggies are close to ready, heat a deep skillet with 2 tsp. of olive oil. Add the sliced Vegan sausage and let cook until browned. Remove from skillet and set aside.
With the skillet on a low heat, add the remaining oil and infuse it with the garlic and red pepper flakes. Be careful not to let the garlic burn or it will taste bitter. Add the bell peppers to the skillet and sauté until softened. Add the spices to the skillet.
When the pot of water has boiled, add a handful of salt and the pasta to the water. Stir the pasta so it won’t stick. Read the cooking directions on the label for cooking times or just let cook until it is just shy of al dente (it will cook longer in the skillet). Before draining the pasta, reserve a large cup of the pasta water and add this starchy liquid to the skillet to make the garlic and red pepper sauce. Drain the pasta well.
Remove the broccoli, asparagus and grape tomatoes from the oven and add them to the skillet. Toss the vegetables in the sauce. Add the spinach pasta and the Vegan sausage to the skillet and toss well until all ingredients are coated with the garlic and red pepper sauce.
Top with Vegan grated parmesan if desired and serve.