Italian-style vegan sausage, onions and bell peppers are simmered in zesty tomato sauce to make this easy and flavorful ragù. Serve over creamy polenta for a comforting meal that’s easy enough for a weeknight!
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Italian-style vegan sausage, onions, and bell peppers are simmered in zesty tomato sauce to make this easy and flavorful ragù. Serve over creamy polenta for a comforting meal that’s easy enough for a weeknight!
I occasionally eat meat substitutes at home, but I’m usually pretty reluctant to include them in recipes on this site. It has to be one of those situations where pretty much nothing else will work quite as well.
Well, I’d been craving some polenta when I came across this polenta ragù recipe. Field Roast Italian-style links are one of my favorite meat substitutes, and probably the one that I use most in my kitchen. And I felt like the recipe was pretty much begging for a vegan version using them. So I went for it. So glad I did!
What You’ll Need
- Vegan Italian-style sausage
- Olive oil
- Red bell peppers
- Tomato sauce
- Red pepper flakes
- Organic sugar
- Salt & pepper
- Polenta grits
- Vegetable broth
- Non-dairy milk
- Fresh basil
How It’s Made
Start by browning your sausage. Heat up a large skillet on the stove and cut your links into 1 inch pieces. Add them to the skillet and cook them for 10 minutes or so, turning every so often, until they begin to brown. Take them out of the skillet.
Now increase the heat and add some olive oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, add your onions and peppers. Cook them for about 5 minutes until they begin to brown, then add the garlic and cook everything for another minute.
Return the sausage to the skillet, then, stir in the tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, and sugar. Raise the heat and let your ragù simmer for about 10 minutes, until the veggies soften up.
You can make the polenta while your ragù simmers. Mix your polenta grits, broth, and milk in a saucepan, place it on the stove and bring it to a simmer. Let it cook until it’s thick and creamy.
Season your ragù and polenta with salt and some black pepper, if you like, then stir in some fresh basil. Divide the polenta among 4 bowls and top it with the ragù. Dig in!
Vegan Sausage & Pepper Ragù Tips & FAQ
- Is this recipe gluten-free? It is if you use vegan gluten-free sausage links. Try Beyond Sausage hot Italian links.
- Leftover storage: I recommend storing your polenta and ragù separately, in sealed containers in the fridge. Each should keep for about 3 days.
- Variations! Instead of creamy polenta, try serving the ragù over pasta, crusty bread, or polenta from a tube. For tubed polenta, I recommend slicing and pan-frying it, like I did in my vegan polenta puttanesca recipe.
- Looking for more creamy polenta recipes? Try my sweet potato barbecue bowls, wild mushroom ragú, or cauliflower chickpea polenta bowls.
Vegan Sausage & Pepper Ragù with Creamy Polenta
For the Ragù
- 2 vegan Italian sausage links (such as Field Roast), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (14 ounce or 400 ml) can tomato sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon organic granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Polenta
- 1 cup polenta grits (quick cooking)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup unsweetened and unflavored non-dairy milk
- Salt to taste
Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Give it a minute to heat up, then add the sausage.
Cook the sausage links for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned. Remove them from the skillet and transfer them to a plate.
Coat the bottom of the skillet with the olive oil and raise the heat to medium-high. Add the peppers and onion.
Cook the veggies, stirring frequently, until they begin to tenderize and brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic to the skillet and cook everything for about 1 minute more, until very fragrant.
Return the sausage to the skillet and stir in the tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, and sugar. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it cook for about 10 minutes, until thickened slightly, stirring occasionally.
While the ragù simmers, make the polenta. Combine the polenta, broth and milk in a medium saucepan, then place it over medium heat.
Bring the liquid to a simmer, lower the heat, and allow the polenta to cook until thick and creamy, about 10 minutes. You can add more broth or milk if it becomes too thick while simmering.
Remove the ragù and polenta from heat when each is finished cooking. Season the ragù with salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the basil. Season the polenta with salt to taste.
Divide the polenta into bowls and top with the ragù. Serve.