Thursday, May 12, 2011

Cajun Pastalaya - Pasta Jambalaya

The classic flavors of a chicken and sausage jambalaya but in a quick and easy skillet pasta dinner.

Cajun Pastalaya

Pastalaya is another one of those dishes that gets some folks kinda cranked up. The purists have a fit over anybody calling a dish that is not rice based, anything remotely related to jambalaya. Pastalaya is simply taking the basic combination of the flavors of a typical jambalaya, but in a pasta dish instead of a rice dish. I say just go ahead and enjoy it! I like to use the shell pasta - not the tiny shells, but the average, medium sized shells, but most any medium sized short-cut pasta would work too. If you prefer this a little more mild than spicy, simply sub in a good smoked sausage.

Pretty snappy to throw together too. When I decided to make this, I didn't have a chicken breast thawed, or any pre-cooked chicken in the freezer, but that's the beauty of this dish. While it's excellent with the chicken, it's good with just about any protein, including pork, shrimp and even crawfish. The great thing about smoked sausage is it can be defrosted in a snap in the microwave. I do recommend adding the chicken. Simply heat your choice of fat in a large covered pot or skillet and add the chicken, and brown well on both sides. Remove and set aside.

Slice the smoked sausage in half lengthwise, then chop, adding to the skillet and cooking until browned. Stir in the onion and green pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Stir in the tomatoes and water.


Meanwhile, cut the chicken breast into cubes and return to the pot, adding in the dry pasta, thyme, basil, parsley and Cajun seasoning. Return to boil; reduce to medium low, cover and cook for about 25 minutes or until pasta is tender and most of liquid has been absorbed.


Stir in the butter and green onion. Taste, add salt and pepper, adjust seasonings as needed and serve with hot French bread to soak up the juices.


A delicious, easy meal, suitable for any weeknight!

Recipe: Cajun Pastalaya

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 30 min |Cook time: 25 minYield: About 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon of bacon fat, canola,
  •     olive oil, or a combination
  • 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 pound of andouille, Conecuh or other
  •    spicy smoked sausage
  • 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped Vidalia or other onion
  • 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of dry medium shell pasta
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon of dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepperto taste
Instructions

Heat fat in a large covered pot or skillet and add the chicken, and brown well on both sides. Remove and set aside. Slice the sausage in half lengthwise, then chop, adding to the skillet and cook until browned. Stir in the onion and green pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and cook another minute.

Stir in the diced tomatoes and water; bring up to a boil. Meanwhile, cut the chicken breast into cubes and return to the pot, adding in the dry pasta, thyme, basil, parsley, and Cajun seasoning, return to boil; reduce to medium low, cover and cook for 25 minutes or until pasta is tender and most of liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the butter and green onion. Taste, add salt and pepper, adjust seasonings as needed and serve with hot French bread to soak up the juices.

Variation: Mix and match the protein by using chopped cooked pork or cooked crawfish tails. Can also use peeled and deveined raw shrimp, adding in the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

Note: I use the medium sized shell pasta, but you can substitute any medium sized short cut pasta such as rotini, elbow macaroni, penne, or ziti. For even more kick, substitute a can of drained Rotel diced tomatoes for one of the canned tomatoes, increasing water if needed.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

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Posted by on May 12, 2011

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16 comments:

  1. Good to know as my hubby won't eat rice in any form because of a disgusting reason I won't post here. Let's just say he's a farm boy. Don't suppose you have another version of Dirty Rice without the rice? I do miss it so....sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was MARY to the rescue!

    I was sitting here thinking about what we would have for dinner and then you posted this. We love regular jamabalaya so making it with pasta like this is going to be yummy -- and I have all the stuff! Bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very creative! Cute name too, you're on a roll this week.

    ReplyDelete
  4. checkin in on you....you ok down there...what a mess.. prayers of safety being sent.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh Chris, I didn't name it, but thanks! :)

    Popping over to visit you now Faith - been awhile!

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  6. WOW!! I just made this for dinner and it is incredible! My husband said this is one of the top 10 things I have ever prepared. The only thing I 'changed' is using one can of Original Rotel with one can of tomatoes, and I added a full teaspoon of Tony Chachere's instead of Slap Ya Mama, because that is what I had on hand. This is definitely going into our routine - it was easy and so full of spicy flavor! I'm gonna try it with shrimp, too. Thanks for this fantastic recipe! You got a new fan.

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  7. Thanks so much & glad you enjoyed it!!

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  8. I agree with everything Anonymous said. This recipe definitely is a keeper! My family loved this! I also liked that it was fast, went a long way, and was easy on the budget. I too used Tony's instead of Slap Ya Mama. Enjoyed this very much!

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  9. I made this tonight, and it is yummy! The only thing is that my youngest probably would find it too spicy because of the sausage. Otherwise, another great recipe.
    Michelle

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  10. Thanks Michelle! Yeah, for a household with children I would definitely tone the spicy down & just use a good mild smoked sausage or kielbasa.

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  11. Going to try this dish this weekend when it is supposed to get cool again. Going with chicken, spicy sausage, and some shrimp. Shared it to my FB and had a couple others going to give it a try soon too.

    Thanks again Mary for the great recipes...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! Thanks so much for sharing the links to my recipes too - I really appreciate you introducing folks to Deep South Dish!!

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    2. Ok, made this today. Went with chicken, andouille, and shrimp. We like it spicy, so I did the switch of a can of Rotel for one of the tomatoes and added about 1/2 cup water extra. For a little more kick, I also chopped one jalapeno.

      We both loved it. Only complaint was that the white meat chicken was a little tough. Might try thighs next time.

      Pretty spicy, not necessarily a bad thing, but might drop the jalapeno next time. Was supposed to be a cold day today, and this would have been great on that. Warmer than expected, so now I am sweating, but it is a good sweat...

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  12. just finished making this it is THE BOMB!!!! followed the recipe exactly (well, except i used thighs instead of breast....) DELISH!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Stephanie! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!

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  13. just finished making this and it is FABULOUS!!!!! THANK YOU MARY I LOVE THIS SITE!!!!!

    ReplyDelete

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