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Rigatoni with Cannellini Beans and Spicy 'Sausage'

This dish is reminiscent of one of my father's favorite pasta dishes. My vegan version has no saturated fats from animal products, but even my butche father loves it.

extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
sea salt
8 ounces tempeh sausage, crumbled
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound whole wheat rigatoni
2 cups cooked/canned cannellini beans
3-4 sprigs fresh basil, leaves removed from stems, finely shredded
juice of 1 fresh lemon

Place a generous amount of oil, garlic and onion in a deep skillet and turn heat to medium. When the onions begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in tempeh sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add a pinch of salt and saute until the tempeh sausage begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add wine, tomatoes and red pepper flakes, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes.

While the sausage mixture cooks, bring a pot of water to a boil, with a generous seasoning of salt and cook rigatoni al dente, 8-10 minutes. Drain well, but do not rinse. When the sausage is ready, stir in cannellini beans, season lightly with salt and remove from heat. Stir in basil, lemon juice and cooked rigatoni, mixing well to combine. Serve garnished with whole basil sprigs.

Makes 4-6 servings. 


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