Tofurky Italian Sausage.
I was going to use these in an Italian sausage recipe from The Best 30 Minute Recipe, which, if you don't own, you should probably buy. This recipe combined Italian sausage with peppers, onions, and potatoes, with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a few other delicious things. I'm not going to type up the whole recipe, because honestly, it's not that tough. Just cook up some peppers, onions, and potatoes, then add things that sound tasty (okay… tomato paste, garlic, white wine, and oregano) in quantities that seem reasonable.
For the sausage in this recipe, however, since it was written for real-meat sausage and I was using fake meat, I changed those directions only slightly. I still sliced them up and browned them in a little olive oil and set them aside before cooking all the rest of the stuff, but then instead of adding them back while the rest of the ingredients were simmering, which would almost certainly result in them overcooking, I just tossed them back in at the very end, and heated them just until they were warm again.
The results? Well, I tried a plain piece of the sausage after I browned the slices, just to see what it was like. It wasn't anything spectacular. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't awesome either. I was hoping that the rest of the ingredients would help pep it up.
Once the full meal was cooked, we dug in. It was… okay. We added more salt, which helped a bunch. Season to taste, people! That direction is there for a reason! However, it was still missing something. We came to the conclusion that it was probably missing that meaty and/or sausage-y flavor that wasn't present in the Tofurky sausage. I think if this meal had cooked with some real-meat sausage, or possibly a stronger-flavored Italian fake-meat sausage, this could have been great, but with the weak flavor of the sausage, it just didn't contribute much.
Oh, and as for the sun-dried tomatoes and basil that the website claims give these sausages a "wonderful, slightly sweet taste," I'm going to have to disagree. Sorry, Tofurky. This one was not a winner.
Texture - nice, chewy texture
Flavor - not much to speak of
Final grade for this attempt: C