My 16-year-old nephew, a fantastic cook, stopped by last month for a cooking day with me and Boyfriend. We thought it would be interesting for Chef D to cook a vegan dish completely from scratch and found this pizza recipe for him to prepare. It was labour intensive, but Chef D dug right in resulting in a pizza that was unbelievably yummy.
The most fascinating element of this recipe was the making of the Italian sausage. The use of walnuts instead of a meat-substitute had me convinced this “sausage” was not going to work. Happily, I was wrong, wrong, wrong – the texture and taste are no different from meat sausage. You don’t actually make this a link sausage, rather it is more like ground sausage in its appearance and it is easily crumbled onto the pizza.
Sausage ingredients (as seen in the link provided):
- 1 cup dry walnuts
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Combine the walnuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Add all remaining sausage ingredients and pulse until well‐combined.
Boyfriend has since made the sausage using walnut, pecan, garlic, tamari, oregano, basil, fennel seed, crushed chili, paprika, and balsamic vinegar (it is always good to know you can make substitutions on a moment’s notice). It only takes about two minutes to make this sausage and you can add it to anything – use it in spaghetti sauce, as a sandwich spread, or add it to a green salad for that extra zap of flavour.
By the way, we didn’t make the cheese for the pizza as per the recipe because of time constraints. Instead, we used our standby nutritional yeast sauce. We finished the day with vegan ginger snaps (made by yours truly) and homemade vegan ice cream (made by Boyfriend). A lovely day, with lovely food, with a lovely nephew!