Building Block Recipe: Seitan Italian Sausage

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Italian Sausage & Pepper SandwichWhat would my childhood have been without Italian sausage?  Less delicious, that is for certain.  Italian sausage sandwiches loaded with red and green bell peppers, garlic and onions were a family staple.  But how to reproduce that experience as a vegan?  Through the magic of vital wheat gluten (along with fennel seeds and red wine).  This is another recipe that I developed on my own and it satisfies all of the senses.

Seitan Italian Sausage
Makes 6 sausages

1 cup dry red wine
1 tsp. fennel seeds
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 peppercorns
vegetable broth, as needed

Slices of Seitan Italian Sausage1 2/3 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup chickpea flour
3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 tbsp. Bragg Liquid Amino
4 tbsp. tomato paste
6 garlic cloves, microplaned or finely minced

In a small saucepan, combine the wine, fennel seeds, garlic and peppercorns.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until slightly reduced.  Remove from heat and pour into a 2-cup measuring cup.  Add enough vegetable broth to bring the amount of liquid to 1 1/2 cups.  Add the tomato paste and Bragg Liquid Aminos.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the vital wheat gluten, chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, oregano, onion flakes, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Make a well in the center and pour in the wine mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms.  Knead dough for 3-4 minutes, then set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F and tear off 8″ pieces of aluminum foil.  Knead the dough again for 2 minutes, then cut into 6 equal pieces.  Roll them into logs about 1″ thick and then one by one, place at the long of a piece of aluminum foil and wrap – not too tightly – but leaving just a little bit of room for expansion.  When the pieces of dough are all wrapped, place them directly on the oven rack and bake for about 1 hour.  Put them on a cooling rack and let rest for at least an hour.  They’re ready to use, but will be of better texture if put into the refrigerator overnight.

Use just as you would “real” Italian sausage: in hoagies, on pizza, in pasta sauce or added to scrambled tofu.

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  1. Jenn Jennings says:

    I like the “building block” concept – it makes it easier for the rest of us who aren’t a vegan-savvy, but want to be and don’t know where to begin. I hope you put these tasty bits into a cookbook someday…

  2. [...] year ago today: Beet, Green Bean & Couscous Salad One year and one day ago: Seitan Italian Sausage and Banana Bread [...]

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