This is a recipe that we make very often because it’s so tasty, flavorful, and easy. Plus, if we can stop ourselves from eating it all in one sitting, it usually leaves us leftovers for lunch during the week.
This vegan pesto pasta recipe uses Field Roast Italian Sausage which we found at both Whole Foods and Natural Grocers. I suppose you can use any veggie sausage if you can’t find these but try your best to get an ‘Italian’ version. The Field Roast Italian sausages are made with fresh eggplant and packed with fennel, red wine, garlic and sweet peppers. We always have these stocked in our freezer for quick pasta meals (like this one!).
Our favorite pasta to use for this vegan pesto recipe is orecchiette which means ‘little ears’ in Italian because of their shape resembling, well, small ears. So cute! Matt calls them little helmets…. whatever.
First, you’ll want to start by preheating your oven to 425F and placing a large pot of water on your stove for the pasta to boil. Wash your brussels sprouts and cut them in half discarding any yucky leaves. Use a large bowl or plastic bag to mix brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then, place them on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil (easy clean-up!). Pop them in the preheated oven to roast for about 20 minutes (until they’re crispy on the outside). Stir them once halfway through.
After that, move on to your vegan pesto.
We really love the herby basil flavor of making vegan pesto from scratch and it comes together in minutes. Add a big handful of fresh basil, olive oil, raw cashews, garlic, lemon juice, and almond milk to your food processor and blend until smooth. If you have pine nuts (pignoli) you can use those instead of cashews but pignoli nuts are expensive so we say f*ck that. Taste and adjust the ingredients, adding more lemon juice or almond milk, based on your preferences.
At this point, remove the plastic casing around the Field Roast sausage and slice the sausage into 1/4″ thick coins – sometimes Matt will slice these in half again because he’s a little baby (hehe).
Okay, so by now your pesto should be done, the pasta should be almost ready to drain, and the brussels should be roasting up real nice. Heat a large skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add your Field Roast sausage coins into the pan and cook them up. They aren’t made from processed leftover animal parts so you just need to fry until golden brown (or leave them longer for extra crispiness).
Once the sausage is ready, toss in your cooked pasta, roasted brussels, and vegan pesto to the pan. Stir to combine. Cook a little bit to heat it all up together. You can use a little bit of reserved pasta water if the sauce is too thick for your liking. Top with vegan parm, red pepper flakes, and a little bit of fresh lemon juice.
This pesto pasta with vegan sausage and roasted brussels sprouts is a hearty and delicious meal.
- 10 oz Orecchiette Pasta (not quite a whole box)
- 2 Field Roast Italian Sausages
- 1 lb Fresh Brussels Sprouts (ends trimmed and any yellowed/browned outer leaves removed, then sliced in half)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 big handful fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup raw cashews
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (start with 2 but add more if it looks like you'll need more liquid)
- 3-4 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
Preheat oven to 425F for the brussels sprouts and start heating a pot of generously-salted water for the pasta.
Trim the ends of the brussels sprouts, wash and cut in half. In a large bowl, mix together brussels sprouts, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently stir until well-combined.
Evenly spread the brussels sprouts on an aluminum-foil covered baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside. Remove from oven and set aside.
When your water is boiling, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water (reserving 1/4 cup pasta water) and set aside.
Meanwhile, add the pesto ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until creamy (about 2 minutes). Adding salt and pepper to taste.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Cut Field Roast Vegan Sausages into 1/4" thick coins. Add the sausage to your skillet and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
To the skillet, add cooked pasta and roasted brussels sprouts - toss with the sausage. Add your pesto sauce mixture, using some of the reserved pasta water if needed for extra moisture.
Serve right away. We like to top with vegan parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and a little fresh lemon juice.
Serving Size: 4
Calories 448 Total Fat 28.1g Saturated Fat 4.2g Sodium 324mg Potassium 540mg Total Carb 33.3g Fiber 7.3g Sugars 5g Protein 20.6g