This quick mostly store-bought ingredients meal helps me get through the week, especially by Wednesday night. Store-bought/ pre-made vegan meatballs or vegan Italian sausage adds a hearty chunkiness to the sauce. Zucchini is my Italian go-to add-in vegetable for pasta sauce but any vegetable or mix of vegetables will work (carrots, eggplant, squash…). With a few additions, jar sauce can taste like homemade in no time.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
9 meatleass gluten-free/dairy-free meatballs or Italian sausage
1 pound gluten-free SPAGHETTI pasta noodles
2 tablespoon OLIVE OIL
2 medium ZUCCHINI, sliced
1 ONION, chopped
24 ounce jar of PASTA SAUCE (I like tomato & basil flavored)
1 tablespoon BASIL, if not using flavored sauce
1 teaspoon OREGANO, if not using flavored sauce
1 pinch KOSHER SALT, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground BLACK PEPPER, to taste
Sprinkle of Vegan PARMESAN CHEESE
- PREPARE PASTA (approximately 11 minutes)
- In the appropriately sized saucepan for the amount of pasta you are cooking, BOIL water over high heat. COOK pasta according to the package.
- Drain the pasta and save some of the water to use later in the sauce (like 1/4 cup)
- PREPARE MEATBALLS (approximately 10 minutes to bake)
- Follow the package directions for skillet cooking or baking of meatballs
- SET ASIDE when done
- PREPARE ZUCCHINI and SAUCE (while pasta and meatballs are cooking)
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, ADD oil until hot
- ADD zucchini and onions and SAUTE for 5 minutes until the zucchini is browned but not soft
- ADD the pasta sauce to the skillet and bring to a BOIL
- LOWER the head and let SIMMER for 8-10 minutes (Reducing the sauce thickens it and concentrates the flavors).
- PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
- ADD the meatballs to the sauce and toss to cover
- USE the saved pasta water to extend the sauce if needed
- Heat the mixture until meatballs are sufficiently warmed
- PLATE up pasta and TOSS with sauce mixture
- SERVE with a topping of vegan parmesan cheese if you like
- STORE pasta separate from sauce in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. FREEZE sauce for up to 3 months. Pasta doesn’t freeze well.