Jambalaya Pasta

9 Jan

This recipe was born out of a craving for spicy food and a desire to use up leftovers.  I had some uncooked Italian sausage left in my freezer from a different recipe, and I wanted to use it up.  I also always have shrimp in my freezer for quick weeknight meals like this.  I didn’t feel like making a whole pot of traditional rice-based jambalaya, and I thought making a pasta version would be quicker and just as tasty.

I must say that this recipe was super easy and tasted even better than I expected.  It was so flavorful and so satisfying, I was impressed with myself.  Haha.  Am I allowed to say that?  Anyway, I guess it’s ok as long as I share the recipe with you!

Jambalaya Pasta

Time: 30 min, Yield: 6 servings

  • 3 links Italian sausage (this is what I had on-hand, but any kind will work)
  • 3 stalks celery, diced small
  • 1/4 of a yellow onion, diced small (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced small
  • 28 ounces canned whole tomatoes, cut into chunks, juice reserved
  • 2-3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (adjust amount depending on the spiciness you like.  I used Tony Chachere’s brand)
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon each thyme, paprika and oregano (optional, if you want to beef up the flavor)
  • salt and pepper
  • ~25 medium-sized raw shrimp, thawed if frozen, peeled and deveined (tails can be removed or not)
  • 12 ounces pasta (I used Ronzoni Garden Delight – delicious and nutritious!)

Cook sausage links over medium heat in a very large skillet, until browned and cooked through (if using pre-cooked, smoked sausage, eliminate this step).  Once cooked, slice into rounds.

In the same pan, after removing the sausage, saute celery, onions, garlic and bell pepper over medium heat until soft, using any sausage fat drippings left in the pan (if there are no drippings or you eliminated the first step, add about 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan before adding veggies).

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

Once the veggies are soft, add canned tomatoes plus 1/2 to 2/3 cup of the reserved tomato juice.  Add in sliced, cooked sausage and all spices and seasonings, stirring to combine.

Then, add the raw shrimp to the pan:

…Cover the pan and let the shrimp steam until cooked through:

Once shrimp are cooked through (firm and pink), add the cooked pasta and toss all to combine.  Serve immediately.  This also reheats pretty well if you have leftovers!

*Bell Pepper Cutting Tip

I find that the easiest way to cut a bell pepper is to slice it in half, right through the stem:

… and then just use your hand to scoop out the seeds, ribs, and stems from each half.  Compared to other ways to cut them, you don’t waste nearly as much of the pepper.

2 Responses to “Jambalaya Pasta”

  1. Mary Greenberg (@Mary_Greenberg) January 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    Whether it’s “right” or not, I always cut a bell pepper like I do a pumpkin. Carve around the top and pull the stem/seeds right out! =) I found it easier than scooping/spilling seeds everywhere.

    awesome recipe though. definitely going to save that one!

    • Amy January 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

      That’s a good idea too! I don’t know what the actual “right” way is, but whatever is the easiest and least messy is what I like!

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