Thursday, April 06, 2006

Cajun Sausage and Peppers

Please make this. It's inexpensive, easy, and extremely good. The flavors are spicy and deep and taste like hours of work. Bask in the cheers of your guests, who are devastated by your casual brilliance (ok, I'm pushing it, but it's yummy).

The flavors are intended to mimic Jambalaya, by the way.

2 strips bacon, sliced small
2 links hot italian sausage, removed from casing and sliced*
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 rib celery, diced**
1 green pepper, diced
1 small can tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf

Medium shape pasta, penne or rotini are both good here.

In a dutch oven-type covered pot, fry bacon for one minute. Add sausage and stir on occasion until browned and cooked. Add onions, stir for one minute, then add garlic and do the same.

Add celery and peppers and stir until slightly softened. Add the can of tomato paste, and stir to coat. Continue frying until the paste darkens...the sugars in the tomato will caramelize and deepen the flavor.

Add the chicken stock, and all the seasonings, and stir well, scraping up any bits from the bottom to make sure it's all combined. It should be fairly thick.

Cover and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. This would be a good time to add the pasta to the (salted) boiling water you have on standby.

When done, add pasta to the pot and combine well. Plate and toss on some parsley and parmesean. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy

* much easier if the links are cold, almost frozen but not quite
** I didn't have celery on hand when I made mine

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