try this: pasta with cajun andouille sausage

I love pork.  I think I get this from my dad, the southern half of my genetics.  BBQ, pulled pork, bacon, even scrapple (I know, isn’t that terrible)—I eat and enjoy them all.  Especially sausage.  My dad is partial to Jimmy Dean’s hot sausage (the kind you buy in a roll and slice into patties).  And while I love a crispy Jimmy Dean patty soaked in maple syrup, I also like the more creative sausages, such as this Cajun-Style Andouille.

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Aidells has some amazingly creative sausages, such as Chicken and Apple, Habanero and Green Chile, Spinach and Feta, and Spicy Mango and Jalapeno.  My grocer only carries three of the many varieties, and the Cajun Andouille is my favorite.  I used it sliced thinly on grilled pizza this summer, and last week I tossed chunks with pasta.  Although the sausage is a bit spicy, the sweetness of the sun-dried tomatoes offers a nice contrast.  We usually pass the Parmesan and micrograter around the table, rather than adding it to the serving bowl.  Yum.

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Pasta with Cajun Andouille Sausage

from foodie plus 4

[click here for printable recipe]

  • 1 pound pasta, cooked
  • 1 package (4 links) Aidells Cajun-Style Andouille Sausage, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, halved then sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into short strips
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into short strips
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
  • 1 small ball of fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  1. Boil and drain pasta, toss with olive oil, cover and set aside.
  2. In a medium pan on medium heat, sauté sausage until slightly browned.
  3. Add pepper and onions.  Sauté until veggies are crisp-cooked, about 7 minutes.
  4. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl.  Add the sausage/veggie mix and sun-dried tomatoes and toss.
  5. Top with mozzarella and shredded Parmesan or Pecorino.

 

trigger happy

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Most foodies have a trigger: a food that they love intensely but may not get to enjoy so often. A food that is a determining factor on any menu. Mine is eggplant. As a little girl, I remember the smell of my mother’s ratatouille bubbling on the stove, and I’ve been hooked ever since.   Eggplant parmesan, baba ghanoush, moussaka—if a dish incorporates eggplant, I’m ordering (or making) it.  So when I saw these beauties at my local market, I created this dish just for them (and me). It’s simple, but the flavors, intensified by roasting, speak for themselves.

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For the roasted tomatoes, I sliced mine instead of halving them so that they would roast more quickly. Check out Smitten Kitchen for the method. You will fall in love with the intensity of the tomato flavor in these tasty morsels.

For the eggplant, I used a similar technique, but I salted the slices and allowed them to drain for 30 minutes. (K0sher salt is best. Wipe off any moisture and excess salt with paper towels before cooking.) Then I cubed the eggplant, tossed with olive oil and seasoning (garlic, salt, and pepper), and roasted them for about 45 minutes at 250°F.

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Mediterranean Pasta

from foodie plus four

  • 2 cups roasted tomatoes, sliced into strips
  • 2 eggplant, cubed and roasted
  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/3 cup (or more) Greek olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 pound pasta
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. Roast eggplant and tomatoes (see above; these can be done a day ahead and stored in the fridge).
  2. Cook pasta.
  3. While pasta is cooking, sauté onions in olive oil, adding a drizzle of balsamic vinegar when soft. Set aside.
  4. Drain pasta and transfer to serving bowl. Toss with tomatoes, eggplant, onions, capers, olives, and feta. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper.
  5. Serve warm or room temperature with crusty bread and a robust red wine! Serves about 6.

works-for-me wednesday: the pasta pot

My bloggy friend, Jennifer, turned me on to Works-For-Me Wednesday. And I like it. Every Wednesday, bloggers link up to We Are THAT Family and post some tip or helpful hint that, well, works for them. So here goes.

This pot rocks. My mom gave it to me many years ago for no reason except that she read about it in The New York Times and had to have one (or two).

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We eat a lot of drained foods: pasta, blanched veggies, potatoes, corn on the cob, more pasta, shrimp. This pot has seen years of use and still works well. The pot can hold 1 pound of pasta, is nonstick, and saves me the trouble of using (and washing) a colander. I cannot seem to find this exact model anymore, but there are similar pots out there. Did I mention it goes in the dishwasher? I’m in love.

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