Spaghetti with Balls or the Fat Ass Sandwich? 10 Cheeky Recipes From The Sexy Vegan

Spaghetti and Balls

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Vegan spaghetti and balls

credit: Hilary McHone

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There are beautiful vegan cookbooks and poetic ones, serene ones and uber-cool ones. The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude isn't any of those. It's funny, it has sass and some good-natured crass, and it's filled with hearty vegan dishes that rely on easily-obtainable ingredients and require minimal cooking skills.

If you're looking for soft-focused shots of pea shoots, this isn't the book for you--if you want recipes for substantial vegan fare that are more comfort than highfalutin, read on.

The "sexy vegan" behind The Sexy Vegan is Brian L. Patton, who went from being a "fat, jobless, twenty-six-year-old loser" to a healthy, vegan chef. Along the way he has perfected a load of irreverent yet toothsome recipes, like this collection he is sharing with TreeHugger--all of which are vegan, which is pretty sexy in itself. Thank you, Brian! --Produced by Melissa Breyer

Spaghetti and Balls

  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 12 cups Tomato Killer (see recipe below), warmed
  • 12 My Balls (see recipe below), fully prepared and kept warm in a low oven
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan Topping (see recipe below), for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, for garnish

1. Cook the spaghetti according to the directions on the package, and drain. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with a cup of the tomato killer.

2. In a separate bowl, gently toss my balls with the remaining w cup of the tomato killer. Pile your pasta on a plate and top it with your saucy balls — or my saucy balls, as it were — and garnish with the parmesan and parsley. (Serves 4)

The Tomato Killer

This is my go-to tomato sauce. Pasta, pizza, cereal — it goes on everything. I don’t kill flies or spiders, but I’ll murder the crap out of some tomatoes.

  • 2 pounds Roma tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Toss the whole tomatoes with 2 teaspoons of the oil and a healthy pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. In the roasting vessel of your choice, lay out the tomatoes so they’re not all up in each other’s shit (leaving a little space between them allows for more even browning), and roast them in the oven for about 1 hour, turning them over after 30 minutes. When they’re soft and browned, they’re done. Remove, and let cool.

3. In a saucepan, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over medium heat, and add the garlic, oregano, and chili flakes. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the garlic begins to brown around the edges. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, the roasted tomatoes, and a pinch of salt. With a wooden spoon, break apart the tomatoes so their juice comes out, and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Carefully pour the contents of the pan into a food processor or blender, add the fresh basil, and puree. Return the pureed sauce to the pan, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and it’s done! (Makes 2 cups)

Variation: Instead of using fresh tomatoes and roasting them yourself, you can be lazy and use one 28-ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes.

My Balls

Here they are! For the whole planet to behold...My Balls! You can place them atop a pile of spaghetti or line them up in a hoagie roll, smother them with tomato sauce and your favorite vegan cheese, and bake for a killer ball-parm sando.

  • 4 ounces tempeh
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to lube the
    baking sheet and coat the balls
  • Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Using a steamer basket, steam the tempeh for 25 minutes to soften it. Then let it cool. In a food processor, combine the walnuts, nutritional yeast, parsley, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, onion, Worcestershire, tomato paste, tamari, water, and oil, and process until you have a semi-moist meal.

3. In a bowl, crumble the steamed tempeh with your hands until there are no big chunks left. Then add the mixture from the food processor to the bowl, plus a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper, and mash it all together with your hands. You will now be able to form this mass into little balls. Make them just a bit smaller than beer-pong balls (depending on when and where you went to college, you may know them as Ping-Pong balls), about 12 inches in diameter.

4. Lube up a baking sheet with the oil, lay the balls on it, coat them with a little more oil, and bake for 30 minutes. My balls are now ready for consumption. (Makes 10 to 12 balls)

Parmesan Topping

Use this on pastas, salads, and pizzas, and if you want your dog to look at you funny, sprinkle a little on her head.

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • Salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, spread out the walnuts on a baking sheet, and toast them in the oven for 5 minutes. Take them out and let cool.

2. In a food processor or blender, grind the toasted walnuts into a meal. Scrape down the sides of the container if necessary, and then add the nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt. Pulse a few more times until the ingredients are combined. Store in an airtight container. (Makes 1 cup)

All photos and recipes excerpted with permission from The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude ©2012 by Brian Patton. Published with permission of New World Library