Hey guys! I am so excited for my very first post on Soul in yo Bowl! I’ve been gathering my thoughts, practicing new things in the kitchen, and learning new techniques and I must say, it’s been fun. I am really looking forward to this journey! I am a working mom, and while I love to cook real, authentic food for my family, it can be difficult! While I absolutely LOVE cooking authentic Cajun food without shortcuts, sometimes that is just not feasible for me. So, I’ve spent time through the years working on Cajun dishes that are quick and easy!
Today I have decided to share my recipe for Mardi Gras Pasta! This is one of my go-to meals for any time of the week. It is quick enough to fix during the week, but it is also satisfying and fancy enough for a weekend date-night-in! I call it Mardi Gras pasta because of the colorful bell peppers I use. Also, I think it would be a great, easy and inexpensive dish to make for a big crowd during Mardi Gras! Shrimp could be substituted with chicken, however, I LOVE the variety of flavor when you combine fresh Louisiana seafood with the smoky flavor of andouille sausage!
Side note: since it is Christmas week, I also thought I’d say I think this would be an impressive looking, yet easy dish for Christmas time. Red and green bell peppers would be so festive! It is also something good to throw together to have in your fridge and have once Christmas leftovers are gone and you don’t feel like cooking. I’m always thinking about backup!
The ingredient list contains a special ingredient that will be used in most of my recipes: Johnny Jambalaya Herb Dressing and Marinade! Many of you know and love this product. For those of you who don’t, I suggest trying it! It can be purchased at Rouses, Calandro’s, Leblancs and Butcher Boy in Plaquemine. If you have a hard time finding it, please reach out to me!
Music pairing: Van Morrison, particularly Moondance album
Wine pairing: Chateau St. Michelle Chardonnay
1 lb andouille sausage
1 lb shrimp
Johnny Jambalaya’s Herb Dressing and Marinade (Enough to coat raw shrimp for marinade, as well as cooked pasta)
1 12 oz bag of pasta. I use penne
1 medium sized onion- diced
¼ green bell pepper-diced
¼ red bell pepper-diced
¼ yellow bell pepper-diced
2 stalks of celery-diced (I love to use 1 regular stalk, and 1 stalk with leafy greens)
4 garlic cloves (just know that I cook with more garlic than most in all of my recipes. Use as much as you like!)
Cajun seasoning (whatever you like to use. Tony’s is a good go-to)
Also, dice your vegetables however small or big you want them. I like mine fairly chunky.
¼ cup dry white wine (Rule of thumb, only cook with wine you’d want to drink)
¼ cup heavy cream
Marinate fresh, Louisiana shrimp in Johnny Jambalaya’s Herb Dressing and Marinade.
Cook pasta. Bring a medium pan of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, cook until al dente. Drain pasta. TIP: coat pasta in Johnny Jambalaya’s Herb Dressing and Marinade to warm pasta to keep from sticking. This also adds an added source of flavor to this and all pasta dishes.
Cut andouille into small, ½ inch cubes
Cook andouille over medium high heat in a large pot. Cook until brown, about 10-15 minutes.
Once cooked, take sausage from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving as much grease in the pan as possible.
Add holy trinity (onion, bell pepper, and celery) to the pan, stirring over medium high heat. Sautee’ a few minutes, seasoning with whatever seasoning mix you like. (I use a combination of salt, black and red pepper, and dry parsley flakes).
TIP: once that has been sautéed about 3-5 minutes, add garlic. However, add the garlic onto the bed of onions, bell peppers and celery, not directly on hot pan. This will allow the heat to warm the garlic prior to garlic hitting the hot pan, thus preventing burning the garlic.
After 2-3 minutes, stir garlic in with holy trinity. Continue stirring, and cook until garlic becomes aromatic, about 2-4 minutes.
Add ¼ cup dry white wine to deglaze the pan.
Pour yourself glass of white wine!!
TIP: I only use wine I can drink. I enjoy dry, but buttery chardonnay for this dish. I used Chateau St. Michelle. If you don’t have wine (buy some) and if you don’t want to buy wine (weird) chicken stock will suffice.
Lower the heat to medium, and sautee’ the holy trinity in the white wine until vegetables are translucent.
Put heat to medium low and add ½ cup heavy cream to the pan. Stir to combine.
Add shrimp, and cook until pink and no longer translucent.
Add cooked andouille sausage back to the pan. Stir to combine.
Add cooked pasta to the pan slowly, until reaching you desired level of sauciness! TIP: don’t ever add all pasta to a sauce at once. You may find that your sauce has cooked down a little more than expected, leaving your pasta to be dry.
Garnish with parmesan cheese. Sip your chardonnay. Life is good!