Seitan Rigatoni with Onions and Peppers is a tasty and healthy vegetarian pasta recipe with plenty of meaty substance. The wheat-based seitan is used in similar fashion to sausage in this pasta dish, making for a hearty, vegetarian pasta dish. Recipe is vegan if you skip the optional cheese topping, or use a substitute.
Have you tried seitan? It’s a wheat-based protein source that can be a great meat substitute. It really does have a hearty substance to it, so it can appeal to carnivore types skeptical of foods like tofu. Jodi was eating a primarily vegetarian diet when we first met, and seitan is one of the new foods I learned about at the time. Though she enjoys a steak and other meat now, eating a mostly vegetarian diet for awhile was a great way to pick up some plant based protein sources that can be featured regularly in meatless meals here.
Today we serve up Seitan Rigatoni with Onions and Peppers featuring Italian style seitan. I used the the Upton’s brand, and it was flavorful with garlic and Italian herbs. When I saw this seitan on sale, I had the idea of featuring it in a seitan rigatoni pasta dish as I might otherwise use sausage. The seitan crumbled easily into bite-sized pieces, similar to sausage when the casing is removed. Thus the texture and taste was a nice alternative to sausage.
If you can’t find Italian flavored seitan, you could make this seitan rigatoni by using plain seitan and increase the amount of garlic, plus add some Italian seasoning–some combination of dried basil, oregano and rosemary.
This pasta dish can be on the table in 20 minutes. Add the pasta to boiling water at the same time you start simmering the seitan and garlic, and you are on your way. I list the parmesan cheese passed at table as optional. You can make this seitan rigatoni dish a vegan recipe by skipping the cheese, or using a vegan parm cheese product. Our son, who can’t eat dairy, likes the GO Veggie! Dairy Free Grated Parmesan Topping. I’ve included a link to where you can get that on Amazon, but it’s about 1/3 the price at Whole Foods. Figured I’d put the link in just in case you had no other way of finding it.
Wine Pairing for Seitan Rigatoni: When I made this dish most recently, I paired it with the 2015 Scalliwag Chardonnay ($17 , 13.25% ABV) from Hugh Hamilton Wines, located in McLaren Vale, Austrailia. This is a good quality chard for the price, full-bodied, lemon fruit with some stone notes. A pretty good pairing for the dish.
Though the Chard is a good wine and paired reasonably well, I recall liking the sparkling wine pairing better for this seitan rigatoni dish. We had this pasta with the Divo Spumante Extra Dry, made with Famosa grapes. I don’t have tasting notes on the wine, but recall liking it. And the Famosa grape is a special one for me, as it was the 200th wine grape varietal I documented sampling. But that is another story.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 onion
- 1 colored bell pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ozs Italian style seitan, crumbled into bite-sized pieces
- ⅓ cup vegetable broth or white wine
- handful spinach
- 8 olives, sliced
- 12 ozs rigatoni pasta
- parmesan cheese to pass at table (optional)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet. Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta
- Add the onions, sauté on medium for 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the peppers, sauté for another 3 minutes.
- Stir the garlic and seitan in with the peppers and onions. Cook for a minute, then add the broth and spinach. Simmer covered for 5 minutes. Remove cover and stir, then cover again and keep warm while the pasta finishes cooking
- After you add the garlic and seitan to the skillet, add the pasta to cook in the boiling water. Cook according to package directions. Drain, then toss with the remaining tablespoon olive oil, and the seitan mixture.
- Plate the pasta and top with a sprinkling of olives. Pass the parmesan cheese for people to add to their pasta, if desired.