Happy Mardi Gras!! It was a gray and cold morning at home in New Orleans, so instead of heading out to watch the parades, I decided to rest to stay warm and make a large pan of Pastalaya. What exactly is pastalaya? It’s akin to jambalaya; however, it is made using noodles rather than rice! It’s a quick and filling meal during large celebrations and gatherings as well as along the route of parades in Mardi Gras. Pastalaya is among the crowd-pleasing foods that don’t cost the earth. This sounds similar to Budget Bytes material, am I right?
EVERY PASTA-LAYA RECIPE IS UNIQUE
Similar to jambalaya, every chef comes up with a unique recipe for pastalaya. It’s a simple recipe that includes andouille smoking sausage, trinity, an ample amount of spices and herbs, as well as a drizzle of cream in the final stages to make it smoother. Most people cook this with sausage as well as chicken and chicken, so if you have leftover rotisserie chickens or skinless, boneless chicken thighs, you can put them into the dish, too.
USE FRESH OR FROZEN TRINITY
Trinity: A mixture of bell pepper, onion, and celery. It is the basis for many Cajun and Creole recipes. My local grocery store was short of green peppers on the shelves today (I suspect everyone was cooking jambalaya! ). Therefore, I substituted the pre-chopped as well as freeze-dried “seasoning mix” (aka trinity) instead.
It’s a good shortcut when you’re not feeling like cutting everything into pieces. Fresh always tastes better. If you’d like to take the new way, you can use one yellow onion, green pepper, and two stalks of celery instead of the seasoning mix in the bags I used.
One tablespoon vegetable oil ($0.04)
1/2 lb. smoking sausage (preferably Andouille) ($2.50)
Two cloves of garlic ($0.16)
1 10oz. bag, frozen “seasoning mix”* ($1.29)
1 15oz. bottle of tomato dice ($0.59)
1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning* ($0.15)
1/2 tsp oregano ($0.05)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
1/4 teaspoon thyme ($0.02)
Freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)
2 cups chicken broth ($0.26)
1 cup of water ($0.00)
1 lb. penne pasta ($1.39)
2 Tbsp of half and half or cream ($0.11)
1/2 bunch of fresh parsley ($0.45)
1/2 bunch of green onions ($0.42)
Cut the sausage that has been smoked into small rounds, and then slice the larger pieces in half. Add the link as well as vegetable oil to the pot in a large pan and cook on medium heat until the sausage is cooked (about five minutes).
Cut two cloves of garlic, then place them into the saucepan. Cook for a minute and until garlic becomes sweet and soft. Include the package of seasoning mix frozen and cook until the mixture is heated (3-5 mins). Add the chopped tomatoes (with juices), Creole seasoning, oregano smo,ked paprika, and fresh broken pepper (about 20 cranks from the pepper mill) along with the pasta. Then, add the chicken broth as well as one cup of water and stir until it is well-mixed.
Put a lid over the pot and raise the heat to medium-high. The bank should come to the point of boiling. Once it has reached an unbeatable level, stir the pool briefly, cover it red,uce the heat to a simmer, and let the pot simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes up to the point that the pasta becomes cooked. The pot should be stirred every few minutes while it cooks to keep it from sticking. Remove the lid as fast as you can to keep the pool at the simmer. If the soup is still to be a bit sloppy after around 8 minutes, allow the pan to simmer with no lid for a few minutes. A tiny bit of thick sauce on the base of the pan can be perfect.
While the pasta simmers, cut the parsley into pieces and cut the green onions.
Remove the pan from the stove and add the half and half or the cream. Incorporate the majority of the chopped parsley and the green onions. Reserve some to sprinkle on top of the bowl. Serve hot.