I came across a recipe for Baked pepper & chorizo penne and it sounded really good, and easy to veganise. The crispy rosemary-flavoured breadcrumb topping was especially appealing.
Instead of chorizo, I used homemade sundried tomato Italian-style seitan sausages, but the dish would be delicious even without the faux sausage. For cheese, I used strong Cheddar-style Sheese.
I used less red pepper flakes in the pasta than the original, and less rosemary in the topping, though next time I’d use more of each.
The original recipe used 150g (5 ounces) of dried pasta for four servings. I didn’t think half the recipe would be enough for the two of us, so I made the full recipe. I was surprised that there actually WAS enough for three or four servings.
BTW, rosemary is very easy to grow, we have some growing in a pot outside and it stays green throughout the winter, one of the few herbs that does in this climate.
|4 teaspoons||olive oil||4 teaspoons|
|120g||seitan Italian-style sausage (optional)||4 ounces|
|130g||diced onion||1 medium|
|1 medium||sweet pepper, peeled and diced||1 medium|
|140g||chopped mushrooms||2 cups|
|2||cloves garlic, minced||2|
|1/4 teaspoon||chilli flakes, or to taste||1/4 teaspoon|
|400g tin||tomatoes||14 ounce can|
|2||sun-dried tomato halves, chopped fine||2|
|1 tablespoon||capers, chopped||1 tablespoon|
|salt and freshly ground pepper to taste|
|150g||penne pasta||5 ounces|
|For the topping|
|40g||bread||1 large slice|
|1 teaspoon||fresh rosemary, chopped, or to taste||1 teaspoon|
|30g||hard vegan cheese, finely grated||1 ounce|
1. If you are using the optional seitan sausage, heat two teaspoons of the oil in a heavy skillet and fry over low heat until golden. Remove from skillet and set aside.
2. Heat remaining olive oil and saute onion and sweet pepper for three minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to saute for 10 more minutes, until vegetables are soft.
3. Preheat oven to 200C (400F).
4. Add garlic and chilli flakes, and saute an additional minute or two.
5. Add tomatoes (with juice), sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Cook gently for another five minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling salted water until just done (mine took 11 minutes, but check the package as this varies).
7. Whilst the sauce and pasta are cooking, make the topping. In a blender, process bread until broken into crumbs. Add chopped rosemary and blend for another 10 seconds or so. Remove from blender and toss with grated cheese.
8. When pasta is cooked, drain and add to vegetable mixture. Thinly slice sausage (if using), and add to the mixture.
9. Spoon pasta mixture into a large shallow baking dish (I used an enamelled roasting tin). Top with crumb mixture.
10. Bake for 20 minutes, until topping is slightly crunchy.
Makes 3 or 4 servings.