{ about this recipe }

Are you ready for some comfort food? This is the creamy cheddar cheese version of my recipe that features parmesean cheese and garlic as the featured taste. And, yes, it’s 100% vegan – yet another recipe that dispels the myth that vegan food cannot be absolutely, satisfyingly delicious without sacrificing the spectrum of sensations we so treasure in our food experiences – taste, texture, depth of flavor, richness, delicacy, heat, spice, sweet, savory …

Like many meals,  I initially made this one based on “What’s in the fridge/pantry that we can use so we don’t have to go out to the store?”  Well, this time I noticed that the expiration date on the sausage was drawing near so, given that parameter to start with,  my attention was drawn to doing something with pasta, cheese and fresh spinach.

And, of course, it had to be easy and quick to prepare.

BRUNCH OPTION >>> substitute cooked diced Yukon Gold potatoes for the pasta

{ stuff you’ll need }

12 oz or one medium package of elbow or penne noodles, cooked, drained,rinsed and lightly coated with olive oil so it does not stick … I used Tinkyada’s Organic Brown Rice Pasta (what I had on hand); it’s wheat/gluten-free and cooks up al dente unlike most wheat-free and rice pasta brands

1 pkg Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausages, roughly crumbled

¾ pkg Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds

½ cup Wildwood Soy Milk Creamer

½ cup Soy Dream Organic Enriched Milk

2 tbsp Wildwood Aioli

4 handfuls of fresh organically grown spinach leaves, thinly sliced while bunched

powdered smoked paprika to taste

powdered cayenne pepper to taste

Celtic sea salt and ground pepper to taste

{ how to make it }

… while the pasta is cooking saute the roughly crumbled sausages in a fry pan (preferably cast iron skillet) in a bit of canola oil, turning to brown evenly, being sure to scrape up any bits that are sticking to the bottom of the pan – the sausage browns up quickly so pay close attention to them it …  set aside when finished

… in a saucepan, heat on medium high flame the creamer/milk mixture making sure you do not bring it to a boil … instead, when the creamer/milk is very hot start adding the cheese to it, stirring constantly to incorporate the cheese into the creamer/milk

… when the cheese is melted stir in the cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper … set aside

… once the pasta is drained, rinsed and lightly oiled move it to a medium size bowl and fold in the uncooked sliced spinach leaves, being careful not to harm the noodles

… blend the Aioli into the cheese sauce, then pour the sauce into the noodles, stirring and continuing to be careful of harming the noodles, but being sure to mix thoroughly so the cheese is coating all the noodles

… spoon the noodle mixture into a medium size casserole, similar in capacity to an 8x8x3 baking pan

… sprinkle the sausage mixture on top, distributing it evenly and being sure that all the crunchy bits make it on as well

… bake at 350° for about half an hour