Friday, August 24, 2007

Pasta Jambalaya

When I lived in New Orleans one of my favorite places to eat this dish was Semolina's. I haven't had their version in such a long time so I had to recreate it on my own.

I have been craving spicy food lately, so this was on the menu for tonight. It didn't take long since I had some chicken left over from Wednesday's spicy roasted chicken.

The only thing it was missing was the tasso (smoked pork). They don't carry this in the Publix or Kroger by my house, and I wasn't making a special trip to Whole foods in the rain. I'm not even sure if Whole Foods have it. I used a smoky salt pork instead, but after the fat had rendered, I tossed it. I essentially just wanted the intense pork flavor to infuse with the other ingredients.
I bought some smoked gouda and provolone shredded it and topped my pasta with it. This really hit the spot. I always make myself too big a portion, and I could not even eat half of what I served.

Pasta Jambalaya

  • 1 14 oz. canned diced tomatoes
    1 can tomato paste
  • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 green pepper roughly chopped
  • 1/2 onion roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbs. fresh basil chopped
  • 1 Tbs. fresh oregano chopped
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 Tbs. hot sauce (I used Louisiana brand)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. sugar

Put green pepper, onion, celery (aka the trinity), and garlic cloves in food processor and chop very fine. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat and add chopped veggies, basil, oregano, and bay leaves. Saute 4 minutes and add the rest of the ingredients. Turn up the heat until it comes to a simmer. Let simmer for about 45 minutes.

Meat and Veggies

  • 1/2 package smoked sausage (I prefer andouille but didn't have any on hand) cut into half moons.
  • 2 cups cooked chicken cut into chunks
  • 2 Tbs. salt pork chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper cut into 1 " strips
  • 1/2 med. onion cut into strips
  • 1 tsp. of Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter

Heat medium sized skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Add salt pork and let the fat render for about 6-8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon let it cool and toss in garbage (you can leave it in if you'd like). Add butter, green pepper and onion and saute until onions start caramelizing. Add meat and cajun seasoning and saute about 6 minutes.

Serve sauce and meat over cooked rotini pasta and top with shredded smoked gouda and provolone (the gouda is a must!)


Beth G. @SweetLifeKitchen said...

mmmmm- that looks really good!