Cajun Pasta

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I remember when I was little sometimes while flipping through the channels on the TV, we’d come across this older man in usually a denim shirt that carried a very strong Cajun accent. His little stories,  jokes, and laughter sucked us in most times and we ended up watching the remainder of his show. This Cajun chef was Justin Wilson. Sadly, he passed away several years ago. If you have never heard of him, look him up so you don’t miss out! I can’t wait to make some gumbo when fall comes around. I’m sure I’ll be trying to imitate him as I am making it, saying “I ga-ron-tee you gonna like this!” This Cajun Pasta dish inspired by the flavors of great Cajun cooking and is a quick throw together meal. You can easily swap out whatever veggies you like and add in different proteins if you like. You could serve this over rice to be like a quick gumbo, serve it with pasta like I did, or serve without any starch and double the beef broth to be more like a soup. It’s full of flavor and very versatile so give it a try!

Cajun Pasta

ingredients:

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14 oz cooked sausage. I used Kielbasa.

2 C uncooked pasta, any shape. I used rotini.

2 C green beans, fresh, frozen, or canned.

1 red bell pepper – chopped

1 medium white or yellow onion – diced

2 C beef broth. I used 2 TBS beef soup base dissolved in 2 C water.

1 teas creole seasoning. I used Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning.

1/4 teas crushed red pepper flakes

1 teas paprika

1/4 teas garlic powder

2 TBS olive oil

Kosher Salt/ Sea Salt to taste

Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste

Directions:

Slice sausage, chop and dice your veggies and set aside.

Bring water to a boil for the pasta.

In a large pot, add olive oil and then the diced onion.

Saute onion over medium heat until translucent.

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Add in bell pepper and continue to cook on medium heat.

Add in your grean beans. If your beans are frozen, steam them for a couple of minutes first. No need to precook them if they are canned or fresh.

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Add in all your seasonings and salt and pepper to taste.

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Stir in sausage.

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Add in beef broth.

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Boil pasta per package directions. Add about 1 ladle of pasta water to your Cajun pasta sauce.

Drain cooked pasta and add it into the pot. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce to simmer until ready to serve.

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Options: Omit Past and serve over rice.

Double the beef broth and make it more like a soup – with or without pasta or rice.

Add in some cooked shrimp or chicken for more protein.

Add a few dashes of hot sauce!

This dish has a little heat to it. You can feel the spice in the back of your throat as the flavors blend together. My girls enjoyed it and it wasn’t too spicy for them, but if you have picky eaters who don’t really care for spicy food, you may want to cut the creole seasoning to 1/4 – 1/2 teas and omit the red pepper flakes or just limit them. You can always add more seasoning if needed to increase the heat.

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Enjoy!


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