This is my entry for the Presto Pasta Night Round-up. Head over there and check out the rest of the pasta dishes. They are always amazing.
I discovered whole foods (not Whole Foods, that came later) sometime in the very early 1980s. Yep. Before it was cool. We were vegan for several years and then vegetarian for several years after that.
We still eat a diet that is not average for Americans. It is very vegetable based with more meat in winter than in summer. We try to eat locally and about 90% of what we eat is either home grown or organic.
I like whole grains in most things. Now, back in the day, I made cookies and cakes with fresh ground whole wheat flour; however I am not likely to do that now, relying on organic white flour for cakes and such.
However, I still love whole wheat bread and pasta! The flavor, when paired with a bold sauce, is unforgettable.
In this dish I used vegetarian “meat balls” although you could certainly use sausage or ground beef. The trick with vegetarian “meat balls” is to put them in the sauce at the last minute rather than simmering them for a long time. They will break apart.
I use Nates, but you can use any type available.
This is great to make ahead. It, like most pasta dishes, is better the day after it is made and can be held up to three days in the fridge. It also freezes well for once a month cooking plans (oamc). Just be sure to set some of the sauce aside for when you warm it up. It will be moister that way.
Vegan Whole Wheat Penne Portabello
1 lb of whole wheat penne, homemade or commercial
1 package Nate’s Meatless-meatballs, zesty italian flavor
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c fresh basil
1/4 c fresh oregano
1/4 c chopped garlic
1 tbs sugar or honey
1 diced red pepper
1 diced green pepper
1 diced yellow pepper
Diced hot pepper of choice (ancho is good, I prefer chipotle)-to taste..be careful not to get it too spicy. Start with a couple of tablespoons fresh pepper or a teaspoon dried chipotle.
2 onions, diced
3 portabello mushrooms chopped
1 quart homemade stewed tomatoes, or 2 cans Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes.
In a large pan saute all ingredients, except the tomatoes and honey, until soft. Add tomatoes and honey, and simmer for 1 hour. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Boil the pasta in a generous amount of salted water until a la dente. Drain.
Heat sauce back up. Add meatballs and simmer until warmed through. Serve over pasta.
Image: Marye Audet
Content:Marye Audet for Baking Delights.