If you have ever lived in New York City, then you know about the Feast of San Gennaro, the most famous and longest running annual festival held in Little Italy. This year the 89th Annual Feast of San Gennaro will take place from Thursday, September 10th through Sunday, September 20th. The feast celebrates the Patron Saint of Naples and has been taking place since 1926 when newly arrived immigrants from Naples settled in lower Manhattan and continued the tradition followed in Italy.
The feast runs for eleven days and is packed with festivities including processions, parades, musical entertainments, celebrities. This year Tony Danza is the Grand Marshal) and there will be a special 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony and a Centennial Birthday Concert to mark the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra!
Of course, this celebration of Italian-American culture and heritage is filled with tons of delicious foods including a cannoli-eating contest. Little Italy is home to many restaurants, cafes and bakeries that serve incredible Italian food. If you plan to dine at any of these eateries, check out How to Order a Delicious Vegan Meal at Any Restaurant. Eating vegan at an Italian restaurant shouldn’t be that hard since unlike much of modern-day Italian dishes, authentic Italian food is simple, flavorful and made with lots of vegetables and fresh herbs.
Still, you may prefer to cook your own Italian feast. Read How to Make Your Own Italian-Style Food at Home and 10 Italian Spices to Spike Up Your Meals for tips and recipes. There is so much more to Italian food than pizza and pasta. Take a look at 25 Italian Vegan Recipes That Will Blow Your Mind and The Best Cheesy Italian Recipes – Veganized. Now that you’re hungry, celebrate the Feast of San Gennaro and everything Italian with these vegan versions of your favorite Italian dishes.
1. Pasta With Tempeh Bolognese
This Pasta with Tempeh Bolognese will appeal to meat lovers and vegans alike! It’s rich, hearty, warm, wholesome and will please people from all walks of life! It’s still vegan and gluten-free, but it’s up to you whether you mention that because it’s so yummy no one would know it’s so good for you too!
2. Vegan and Gluten-Free Tomato and Garlic Foccacia
Making foccacia is similar to making pizza but without the rolling and flipping. This Tomato and Garlic Foccacia is vegan, gluten-free and easy to make. Honestly, the hardest part of making it is learning to spell foccacia!
3. Margherita Pizza With Fresh Basil Pesto and Mozzarella
This Margherita Pizza tastes like Italian summer in your mouth! The crunchy yet chewy crust is topped with tomato sauce, thinly sliced tomatoes, homemade vegan mozzarella and fresh from the garden basil pesto. It is creamy, chewy, fresh, and most of all….delicious!
4. Caprese Salad
This is a vegan version of the classic Caprese Salad which is usually made with mozzarella. It features fresh-grown basil, organic Roma tomatoes and extra-firm tofu. The tofu, with all the goodies added, is almost indistinguishable from buffalo mozzarella.
5. Tofu Piccata
This Tofu Piccata is a compassionate version of the Italian dish usually made with veal. The tofu is cooked in a delicious sauce of vegan butter, white wine, parsley, garlic, lemons, and capers. Serve with potatoes, rice or pasta for an amazing meal.
6. Vegan Italian Anise Cookies
Every Italian family has a recipe for anise cookies. The flavor of anise is bold and these Vegan Italian Anise Cookies will take you back to your childhood. If you’ve never had them, then you’ll want to add them to your vegan cookie tray so you can find a new favorite.
7. The Best 9 Vegetable Lasagna Ever!
Lasagna is perfect for entertaining, a cool fall day, the picky eater, the casserole lover and the comfort food connoisseur. The ingredients that make this 9 Vegetable Lasagna perfect are red pepper flakes, fresh oregano, and cumin. These ingredients make the perfect zing, like a gorgeous pop of color for the tongue. You have to try it!
8. Creamy, Cheesy Homemade Ravioli
Nothing you could buy can come close to tasting as good as Homemade Ravioli. The filling is completely dairy-free, not that anyone will be able to tell based on how creamy and delicious it is. Serve these up with a sauce of your choosing and watch them disappear.
9. Eggplant Cannelloni
This Eggplant Cannelloni is tremendously addictive but in a good way. It is made with roasted eggplant, vegan cheese and greens, along with homemade sauce. Add other ingredients to make it as simple or as “meaty” as you like.
10. Ayurvedic Minestrone
A classic Italian oup gets an Ayurvedic twist with spices that don’t just make the dish taste good but help our bodies. This Ayurvedic Minestrone has a cumin-coriander-anise spice blend that is delicious. The homemade stock is deeply flavorful and takes the dish to a whole new level!
11. Creamy Cashew Alfredo Pasta
This Creamy Cashew Alfredo Pasta is a rich and creamy dish made with nutritional yeast and cashews instead of heavy cream. It has sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and roasted red peppers for extra flavor and you can add a spicy kick with red pepper flakes. This dish will keep you coming back for more.
12. Mushroom and Leek Risotto With ‘Parmesan’ Tempeh
This Mushroom and Leek Risotto is filled with creamy goodness. It’s topped with pan-fried tempeh that is topped with homemade vegan parmesan. This is a special dish that is comforting, indulgent and good for you at the same time.
13. Smoked Tofu and Mushroom Carbonara With ‘Mung Bean’ Pasta
A traditional carbonara is pasta mixed with egg, cream and parmesan then topped with crispy bacon. This Smoked Tofu and Mushroom Carbonara is a vegan version that uses smoked tofu to replace the bacon. Serve over your favorite pasta..
14. Crispy and Soft Veggie Gnocchi With Spinach and Garlic Sauce
Made of sweet potatoes and spinach, this Veggie Gnocchi packs a healthy punch! Crisp, yet soft, you get the best of both worlds. Top with a fresh, homemade tomato sauce with lots of garlic. Make this a weekly dinner and you’ll never get complaints!
15. Tiramisu Brownies
What’s better than dessert? How about two desserts in one? These Tiramisu Brownies are sure to be a crowd-pleaser. The brownie is dense and fudgy with an intense chocolatey flavor and hint of coffee. Only to be topped off with a creamy tofu “cheesecake” that will fool everyone.
There is nothing like Italian food. It’s hearty, flavorful and so satisfying. Celebrate with the deliciousness that is Italian. Mangia!
Lead image source: Caprese Salad