Spicy Vegan Pasta with Sausage! This easy date-night pasta is so incredible, you’d never guess it was meat and dairy-free! If you love healthy Italian food, then you’ve gotta try this easy vegan pasta.
- 1 lb. rigatoni pasta with 2 cups reserved pasta water (after the pasta is cooked)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 package vegan sausage, casings removed and roughly chopped** (see notes for recommendations)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup white wine or vegetable broth
- 1 cup cashew cream* (see notes)
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- red pepper flakes, for topping
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook according to package directions. Drain, reserving 2 cups of starchy pasta water.
- Heat olive oil in a large deep pot over medium high heat. Add the celery and onion and cook until very soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking into small pieces until browned and crispy.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add in the garlic, fennel seeds and tomato paste. Saute until paste is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add in the wine or broth and cook, scraping the bottom of the pot to get the browned pieces of sausage that have stuck to the pain. Cook until reduced, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add in the cashew cream, spinach and 1/2 cup reserved pasta water. Let simmer for 5 minutes and add in the salt to taste.
- Add in the cooked pasta to the sauce and add a little reserved pasta water at a time, stirring to incorporate, adding as much pasta water as needed to let the sauce cling to the noodles. Stir in red pepper flakes, if desired, and serve.
*To make cashew cream, pour boiling water over 3/4 cup raw cashews and let soak for 30 minutes. Puree with 1 cup water or broth until very creamy and smooth. You may need more water. Depending on the power of your blender, this may take 5 minutes.
** I used the Beyond Meat Hot Italian Sausage and OH MY GOSH. Highly, highly recommend using those if you can find them. I know they are expensive, but I think they are worth it. Other recommended brands are the Field Roast Italian Sausage, sliced
Keywords: easy vegan pasta