Pasta Irritata, which is Italian for irritated is upset, but not quite as angry as Penne all’Arrabbiata. One day as my mother was visiting, we were playing around with some of our favourite food combinations, such as spinach with pasta.
I knew that she liked her food spicey but also that she can’t stomach (pun intended) garlic and does not eat meat. So wanting to show off our new Imperia Pasta machine, which has completely revolutionised our lives, we decided to transform one of our favourites into a vegan feast.
We both love spinach and sausage meat, and Pasta Irritata combines the two in perfect harmony. One day we had some sausages and spinach left over in the fridge and decided to put them together. The result is fantastic.
It might not be an Italian classic, but it certainly should be. It’s also a great way to get your children to eat healthy greens, while not having to forgo their pasta treats.
Vegan Pasta Irritata
Substituting the meat sausage for firm tofu did the trick. The rest of the dish pretty much stayed the same. The beauty of Pasta Irritata is that you get to control the level of ‘irritation’. If like Marylyn, you like it hot, add a bit more chilli. If, on the other hand, you like it mild, go easy with it.
Pasta Irritata is a beautiful and quick dish that perfectly balances the major food groups. In addition to amazing taste, it also gives you a healthy plate of food. I’d suggest that you try both the meat and the vegan version and decide which one tastes best.
Just make sure to let me know how you got on in the comments below (and don’t forget to rate the dish!) 👩🍳👨🍳
- 4 Pork sausages or 250 g firm Tofu
- 400 g can of chopped Tomatoes
- 2 Shallots diced
- 200 g fresh Spinach
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Chili Flakes
- 100 g Pasta per person
- Put a splash of water (50ml) in a saucepan and add the raw washed spinach leaves. Cook over high heat for 3 minutes until the spinach is wilted and much reduced in size. Take it off the heat and drain off excess water. Set aside.
- Heat the oil to a saucepan and fry off the shallots for 2 minutes.
- In the meantime, remove the skin from the sausages, cut the meat into rough 2 cm (1 inch) section. and add to the shallots. Fry for 6 minutes over high heat or until the meat is starting to turn brown. See for vegan option below.
- Season with the salt, black pepper, and a generous pinch of chili flakes and give a good mix.
- Add the spinach, tomatoes, sugar, and 50ml of water to the mixture and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
- While the sauce is simmering, make the pasta according to the packet’s instructions. Once the pasta is done, drain it, and add it to the sauce.
- Serve hot with freshly grated parmesan cheese or vegan equivalent.
- Cut the firm tofu in very fine (3mm | 1/8 inch) slices and half these lengthwise.
- Add a dash of olive oil to a hot frying pan and fry the tofu pieces on both sides. Once that they are well browned add the tofu to the shallots and continue with the recipe.