Monday, August 14, 2017

Cheesy Conecuh Skillet with Rotini

A skillet meal of smoked sausage with rotini pasta in a creamy, cheesy sauce and topped with French fried onions.

Cheesy Conecuh Skillet with Rotini

This southern heat seems to get harder and harder on this old body every summer and it has been unbearable some days, to the point where a minute outside is more than enough. When it's not hotter than hot, it's raining. Like bucket-loads kinds of rain. There were a few times I thought the Gulf Coast was gonna float away into the Gulf of Mexico!

My gardens that were so beautiful this spring, are now loaded with weeds, but with the heat index it's impossible to get out there long enough to make a difference. Doing it early in the morning or late in the afternoon just means getting carried away by gnats. It's just a no-win situation!

I have sure been all about the skillet meals this summer. Course, I've also been all about the grilled chicken, burgers, hot dogs, occasional steaks and sandwiches too. Anything that is quick and easy and tastes good is alright by me!

Before we head to the recipe, in case you missed my weekend post, be sure to pop by there for my review of Lucy Buffett's new cookbook, Gumbo Love. Not only is it an amazing representation of Gulf Coast cuisine, I'm also giving away a copy! Giveaway closes on Friday, August 18th at noon CST, so go enter quick.

You may have noticed we use smoked sausage a good bit here in the Deep South. It freezes well, and defrosts fast, so it's one thing that most of us always have on hand, making it a natural base for a quick skillet pasta dish, like this one. There are several brands that I enjoy using - being in Mississippi plants me right slap in the middle of some of the best smoked sausage and andouille around! This time I used Alabama made Conecuh brand, one of my top favorites.

Other than that, I just took a bunch of pantry items and things that I already had on hand, and threw together this dish, one of the advantages of having a well-stocked pantry, fridge and freezer. I even had a package of french fried onions I needed to use, so chose to use those rather than saute some fresh, although you certainly could do fresh.

Once again, my favorite gadget Fasta Pasta makes an appearance! As I have mentioned multiple times, this is one kitchen gadget that I use all the time, and for far more than pasta, although it is certainly handy for skillet meals like this.

From there, it's really super easy y'all! Brown the sausage, add the pasta and cream soup mix, half the cheeses and fried onions and the seasonings, cover simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stir in parsley, top with remaining onions and cheese, cover until melted. All you need is a side salad or a green veggie and done!

Cheesy goodness!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!


Recipe: Cheesy Conecuh Skillet with Rotini

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 20 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 2 cups dry rotini pasta
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 (10-3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup mild cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil (canola, corn, olive oil)
  • 1 pound Conecuh or other mild smoked sausage
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (3 ounce) package French fried onions
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley, plus more for garnish

Prepare rotini according to package directions; drain and set aside. Whisk together milk and soup; set aside. Combine cheeses; set aside.

Heat oil in a large, lidded skillet. Slice sausage into 1-inch chunks and cook until browned. Add pasta and cream soup mix; stir. Stir in half the cheese and half the fried onions; bring mixture to a boil.

Cover and cook over medium low for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Stir in parsley, taste, adjust seasonings as needed, top with remaining onions and cheese, cover and leave over heat for 5 minutes longer, or until cheese has melted. Garnish with additional parsley for color, if desired.

Cook's Notes: I had a package of fried onions I needed to use, though you can certainly use fresh. Just saute them in butter or oil to soften. May also substitute fresh garlic as well.

For Oven: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare as above in an oven safe skillet, or transfer to a baking dish after mixing together. Cover and bake 25 to 30 minutes, remove, add remaining onions and cheese and return to the oven uncovered, about 4 or 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. Garnish with parsley for color.


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Posted by on August 14, 2017

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