This hearty, penne with spicy zucchini tomato sauce is an old standby I’ve been making for years. When I went vegan 2 years ago, I eliminated the shredded mozzarella I used to smother it with (don’t need it!) and when I learned the faux sausage I had been using wasn’t vegan, I replaced it with Upton’s Naturals Italian Seitan.
You can make easy substitutions and additions to this recipe based on what’s in your kitchen. It can be something simple like switching out red peppers with green peppers or red onion for yellow onion or, if you aren’t a fan of seitan, replace it with sliced crimini mushrooms.
This recipe is plant-based.
- 2 TB minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup diced red pepper (about 1 medium)
- 4 TB canola oil
- 1 8 oz. package of Upton's Naturals Italian Seitan
- 1 12 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 cups chopped zucchini (about 1 medium)
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp. oregano flakes
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Mince garlic and rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dice the onion and red pepper. Set aside.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of the canola oil in a large skillet and heat on low.
- Add seitan and heat until warm, using a wooden spatula or spoon to break-up into small pieces. Place on a plate and set aside.
- Cook penne according to package directions.
- While the penne is cooking, heat the final 2 tablespoons of canola oil in the "seitan skillet" over low heat.
- Add garlic, onion, and red pepper and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add can of tomatoes and mix together with the veggies. As the tomatoes begin to cook, use the spatula to break-up the tomato into smaller pieces.
- Add zucchini, seitan, kalamata olives, red pepper, and oregano.
- Season to taste with sea salt and fresh black pepper.
- Cover and simmer over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes.
- When serving, either combine penne and sauce together or place in separate bowls.