Fake meats (think chik’n or fakin bacon) have always freaked me out. Before I was vegetarian I could not understand why someone would rather eat substitutes than the real thing. Since I’ve become vegetarian, all I can think is that those products are so full of gross chemicals and preservatives. I like tofu and tempeh, and I’ve been interested in seitan, but I just can’t understand consuming lots of chemicals to eat a reproduction of a meat product.
A few weeks back I saw that Cate had made her own seitan. She made it look both simple and tasty. As I googled around, comparing recipes, I finally landed on this one for spicy Italian seitan. Since I’ve always felt that the main flavor of Italian sausage was in the spices (especially fennel), I thought making a seitan version of Italian sausage might work. Plus, I have no trouble with meat substitutes that are made in my own kitchen with recognizable ingredients.
Here’s the recipe for the spicy sausage again. I added 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast to the dry ingredients, just because I like the taste. I also added the wet ingredients slowly to the dry ingredients; I ended up needing only about 2/3 of the volume of wet ingredients before I reached a good consistency. I’ll come up with my own recipe for this soon, but the one above is a great starting place.
Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onion is translucent. Add all the herbs and cook for 2-3 min. Then add just the tomato paste, and cook for an additional 2-3 min before adding the water. Stir in the honey to taste. (At this point I found the tomato sauce to taste concerningly sharp and bitter, but the honey solved that problem perfectly. ) Then stir in the parmesan cheese.
I let the pizza sauce cool while the pizza dough was rising.
When the pizza dough was ready, I rolled it out and topped it with the sauce, sausage slices, and mozzarella.
I baked the pizza at 450 degrees for approximately 25 min (until the cheese was melted and the crust was golden)
I topped the pizza with red onion slices and fresh basil.
It was almost shockingly good. I need to find a carnivore to try this sausage out on, but it seemed like a pretty good sub to us! The sausage was surprisingly easy to make. It only has 5 minutes of hands on time, and then an hour in the oven. None of the kneading or simmering that I was expecting with seitan. Definitely worth a try!
What are your favorite pizza toppings? Sausage pizza used to be my favorite before I was vegetarian. I was psyched to bring it back!