About Me

My photo
A fiery, red-headed newbie Vegan who loves wine, food, reading, writing, and all things curious.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Uncle Pete's Kicked Up Pasta--Vegan Style

Me (age 3) and Uncle Pete-1981

My uncle, Peter Brindisi, was a wonderful, charismatic, caring man. He loved his family and friends! He also loved to play golf, make wine, and enjoyed really good food. He didn't cook often, but when he did it was always a pasta dish of some sort. He loved to dice up onions, peppers, and garlic and make a sauce with some olive oil and red pepper flakes. We would all sit down to a family pasta night, glasses filled with homemade red wine, crusty Italian bread, and talk about our day, or the news, or whatever was going on at that time. 

It is always seems the simplest things become the most cherished memories. 

This summer, we lost my uncle after he battled many years with Alzheimer's Disease. He was only 69. This Sunday, I will be walking in Team Brindisi, in honor of my uncle and others in our family who have suffered and lost the war with this disease. 

Alzheimer's affects millions worldwide. Although much research has been done, we still have a long way to go before we can put an end to this awful epidemic that is spreading rapidly. You can help to find a cure for this disease. The link below is for my personal page if you would like to donate. But you can also join a walk and raise money in your area OR elect to start your own walk. 

In honor of my uncle, I made a dish tonight that reminded me of those family pasta nights. Sitting around a table with loved ones and sharing a meal is so special and creates wonderful, lasting memories. 

Uncle Pete's Kicked Up Pasta--Vegan Style

2 cups Tofurky Italian Sausage, diced
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup Onion, diced
4 cups Mixed Mushrooms, chopped
2 cups Zucchini, diced
1 cup, Bell Pepper, diced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast, optional (but makes it oh so good!)
2 tsp Salt
3/4 cup White Wine ( I used Luna di Luna Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay because I had it left over from a party)
1 lb Pasta, (rigatoni, penne, any medium sized pasta) COOKED


1. In a large frying pan, (with lid preferably), brown the sausage. About 8-10 minutes. Remove and put aside.
2. Heat oil in pan and add onions, cooking until translucent. Add zucchini and bell pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add mushrooms, sausage, garlic, spices, and nutritional yeast. Mix well in pan. Add wine, stir, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove cover, cook for another 5-8 minutes.
4. Combine with cooked pasta and serve.

Thank you to those who have already donated. We will find a cure and beat this disease!


  1. Farrah, I love the photo of you and your Uncle Pete. I'm sorry to hear about your loss, he sounds like a wonderful man and I'm glad you have some wonderful memories sharing yummy pasta dinners! You kicked up version sounds awesome, exactly the kind of dish I would love.

  2. Thanks Lee. He was a sweetheart of a man. And the pasta was so delicious!

  3. I'm very sorry of your loss, Farrah!
    The veganized version of your uncle's pasta dish sounds wonderful! :)

  4. This is such a sad post but full of hope too.
    What a lovely way to remember and honour your uncle.

  5. Wonderful photo! Delicious looking food. And a great use of a blog to remember your uncle. I often love the internet!