Spicy Italian Pecan "Sausage" and Grilled Penne Pasta

Spicy Pecan Italian “Sausage” and Grilled Vegetable Penne

Submitted by: Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN

 Simply season and ground pecans to create a plant-based version of spicy Italian “sausage.” In this recipe it’s added to grilled vegetables and pasta but you can also use it on a flatbread, pizza, soup and more.

Ingredients

  • 1 12-ounce package brown rice penne pasta
  • 1 teaspoon pecan or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 small yellow squash, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 24-ounces jar pasta sauce (no sugar added), warmed
  • Fresh basil leaves and parmesan cheese, optional, for garnish
  • Spicy Pecan Italian “Sausage”
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup raw pecan halves (or lightly toasted)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Heat water in pot on stovetop for pasta.
  3. Make pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  4. Make the spicy pecan Italian “sausage”: In a pan over medium heat, add oil, onion, fennel seed, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, and red pepper flakes (do not add pecans or vinegar yet). Cook 4 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  5. Add pecans, red wine vinegar, and onion mixture to food processor and pulse until consistency of ground pork, about 8 to 10 pulses. Makes 1 cup pecan “sausage”.
  6. Lightly brush zucchini and yellow squash with olive oil and place on hot grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until tender. Remove and chop into bite-sized cubes.
  7. Serve family-style or in individual bowls. Layer pasta, vegetables, and pasta sauce. Top with pecan “sausage” and fresh basil and parmesan if desired.

Nutrition facts

Calories

380

Fat

15g

Sat Fat

1g

Sodium

320mg

Carbs

58g

Fiber

6g

Protein

8g

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