Thursday, May 9, 2013

Spicy Cajun Sausage & Sweet Bell Pepper Pasta

You know those nights when you throw a bunch of random stuff together and hope it turns out well? That's how I formed this recipe. I had some frozen cajun sausage links in the freezer from the farmer's market and a random assortment of veggies in the fridge, so I decided to make a pasta. 

Since the sausage already had cajun spices, I searched through my cabinet and found leftover Emeril's Essence seasoning from when I made my crock-pot beef stew. Sausage, onion and pepper (and cheese, of course) pair well together, but I felt like some green so I threw in spinach leaves for extra vitamins. 

The dish turned out super tasty and slightly spicy. If you're sensitive to spice, I'd add less Essence seasoning and then season to taste. 

Spicy Cajun Sausage & Sweet Bell Pepper Pasta
Organic fusilli pasta mixed with sauteed cajun sausage, onion, sweet red bell pepper, fire roasted tomato and Emeril's Essence seasoning, then topped with shredded cheese. 
Serves: 3

1/2 lb cooked organic fusilli
1 tablespoon of organic virgin unrefined coconut oil (this is my favorite brand)
3/4 a medium onion, diced
1/2 lb (2 links) of cajun pork sausage (use antibiotic free, humanely raised if possible), casings removed
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
4 ounces of organic fire roasted diced tomato (or fresh tomato diced)
2-3 teaspoons of Emeril's Essence seasoning (get the recipe here)
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon of organic, grass-fed butter
1-2 handfuls of organic baby spinach leaves
4 ounces of shredded parmesan cheese and/or pepper jack cheese

Cook pasta according to packaged directions and set aside. Heat a large skillet to medium, add the coconut oil and let it melt. Peel and dice the onion. Add to pan and cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove the casings from the sausage, add the sausage to the pan and break up it up into smaller pieces with a spatula as it cooks. Wash, deseed and chop the pepper. When the sausage is almost cooked through, add the bell pepper and tomatoes. Measure in the essence seasoning. Cook 4-5 minutes or until the pepper softens. Add the butter, let it melt, then reduce the heat to low and add in the spinach. Stir and let the spinach leaves wilt for a few minutes. Top with cheese and let it melt. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Notes & Tips
This would be even better if you poured in 1/4 cup of organic heavy cream after adding the essence seasoning and let it reduce a bit. I haven't tried this yet, but I bet it would make it taste fantastic!

Real Food Resources

Real Food Survival Guide For Busy Moms

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From Scratch: Easy Recipes for Traditionally Prepared Whole-Food Dishes 

"If you're looking for a cookbook that is as entertaining as it is delicious, then look no further. From Scratch is a breath of fresh air when it comes to learning how to traditionally prepare and cook nutritious food. Shaye does not disappoint in her recipes and this cookbook reads like a letter from a close friend. These meals are easily prepared and yes, easily devoured."  

Question for Discussion: What's your favorite add ins for pasta?

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