Chickpea sausages are the perfect solution for vegetarians and vegans, but you don’t have to be vegetarian to enjoy these spicy Italian-style sausages. Give these a try, and you won’t miss the meat at all. This recipe is especially perfect for Meatless Mondays.
The Author Says: “Chickpeas are a staple legume throughout the Mediterranean, and in these sausages, they get top billing as the main ingredient. –Tonia Reinhard, MS, RD
Spicy Sicilian Chickpea Sausages
Food processor (optional)
1 cup (250 mL) rinsed drained canned chickpeas
4-3/4 cups (1.125 L) Vegetarian Sausage Binder (see recipe below)
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped green bell pepper
2 Tablespoons (30 mL) hot pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon (15 mL) finely chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons (10 mL) kosher salt
2 teaspoons (10 mL) freshly cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons (10 mL) freshly cracked fennel seeds
2 Tablespoons (30 mL) roasted garlic paste
30 mm shirred stick cellulose casing
To Make the Sausage:
In food processor, purée chickpeas to a paste-like consistency. (Or mash to a paste-like consistency with a pastry blender or potato masher.)
In a large bowl, stir together chickpea purée, sausage binder, green pepper, hot pepper flakes, oregano, salt, black pepper, fennel seeds and garlic paste until well combined.
In a small skillet, over medium-high heat, sauté a small amount of the sausage mixture until thoroughly heated and egg is set. Taste the sample, then adjust seasonings as desired.
Stuff sausage mixture into casing. Twist into 10 links, each about 6 inches (15 cm) in length.
In a large shallow pan of gently simmering water, poach sausages for 10 minutes or until sausages reach an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). Do not allow water temperature to rise above 170°F (77°C).
Remove chickpea sausages from the water and let cool completely. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days before using. Gently peel off casing before cooking or eating.
Yield: 10 sausages
How long to make your sausage links is really up to you, although we suggest 6 inches (15 cm) for this recipe. Keep in mind that this is a rough guideline, and that you may have to adjust the length up or down so that you don’t end up with one link smaller than the rest.
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Vegetarian Sausage Binder Recipe
3 large eggs
2-1/2 Tablespoons (37 mL) water
2 Tablespoons (30 mL) (30 mL) vegetable oil
6 Tablespoons (90 mL) powdered soy protein
4 teaspoons (20 mL) potato flour (not potato starch – See Tips)
1-1/2 Tablespoons (30 mL) (22 mL) xanthan gum
3 cups (750 mL) cooked short-grain white rice, cooled
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, water, and oil. Using a wooden spoon, stir in soy protein, potato flour, and xanthan gum until well blended. Stir in rice until well combined.
Yield: About 4-3/4 cups (1.175 L)
• All of the less common ingredients in this chickpea sausages recipe are readily available online and in natural foods stores and some supermarkets with well-stocked natural foods sections.
• The only similarity between potato flour and potato starch is that they are both potato products.
Potato flour is made from the whole potato, including skin, a process in which the potatoes are usually cooked, then dried, and ground.
Potato starch is only the dried starch component of peeled raw potatoes, a fine white powder most similar to cornstarch.
The flour confers potato flavor, absorbs moisture in recipes, and has some thickening power. The starch has no potato flavor and is a potent thickener for sauces, again similar to cornstarch.
Recipe Source: “The Complete Art & Science of Sausage Making: 150 Healthy Homemade Recipes from Chorizo to Hot Dogs” by Tonia Reinhard, MS, RD, with Brendan Reinhard and Brent Mitchell (Robert Rose)
Reprinted with express permission.
About The Authors:
• Tonia Reinhard, MS, RD, is the Director of the Coordinated Program in Dietetics and the Course Director for Clinical Nutrition at the School of Medicine at Wayne State University in Detroit.
• Brendan Reinhard is the manager of the sausage department at Country Smoke House in Almont, Michigan.
• Brent Mitchell is the head chef at Country Smoke House, which specializes in sausage making, barbecue, butchery, smoked meats and catering.