Vegan Sausage and Spinach Macaroni

I am so excited to tell you I will be contributing to the fabulous new online magazine BrewDrinkingThinkings. Obviously I'll be their vegan recipe gal, which is so thrilling for me and hopefully means my plant based dishes will reach a wider audience. Vegan is a bit of a niche market and I think many people are a little intimidated by it - totally understandable, I was exactly the same when I first embarked on veganism. It became apparent very quickly that vegan cooking isn't so scary and for me it has heightened my love of food and to be frank has taught me to eat. That may sound like a strange thing to say because of course I knew how to eat and I truly believed I knew what I was putting into my body. I was sure I was an informed person and was always conscious of ingredients - reading labels was something I did looooooong before veganism. However, my plant based diet has really brought me a deeper understanding and appreciation of food. I view it as something wonderful not just because of taste anymore but because of what it does for my mind, body and soul - food can bring a sort of spiritual awareness if you let it.

Don't run. I am (relatively) sane. Promise?

Anyway, this new opportunity is exactly what I needed right now because whilst I'm always cooking food, eating food, writing about food not to mention photographing food, I kind of felt I'd reached a little bit of a plateau. Sometimes my obsession with food becomes somewhat overwhelming and this new outlet is the perfect venture in which to channel all these recipes - away from my beloved blog. That's right, there's going to be double recipe dosage because I'm attempting to avoid replicating ideas, which will mean more work but I'm up for the challenge, as they say.

Inspired by my recent trip to London and now this I'm very positive about my foodie future.

vegan sausage and spinach macaroni

1 1/2 cups (150g) long macaroni

1/2 red onion

1 small carrot

1 celery stick

handful baby leaf spinach

2 linda mccartney sausages

2 tbsp chopped basil

1 heaped tablespoon onion chutney

1 tsp vegan bouillion

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

few drops tabasco sauce

sprinkle of chilli flakes

Olive oil

salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius/390 fahrenheit. Bake the sausages for 20 minutes. Whilst they are cooking get on with the sauce.

Finely dice the red onion, carrot and celery. Heat the olive oil in a large pan/skillet and add the veg. Season generously and slowly sweat the veg - do not allow to brown by stirring frequently.

When the vegetables are sufficiently softened add about a half cup of freshly boiled water and the vegetable stock powder (or cube). Allow to gently simmer for several minutes.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Salt and cook macaroni until al dente - about 9mins. Drain and set aside.

Chop the sausage into bite size pieces and add to pan. When heated through add the spinach, balsamic and tabasco. Allow the spinach to gently wilt before stirring in the chutney and adding the chopped basil and chilli flakes.

Transfer macaroni to the pan, lightly season and thoroughly combine. Let the pasta warm through in the pan before serving in bowls.