My regular readers know I love Cajun food even though I am a Northerner. I just love the spice, the accents. This Cajun pasta picks up on a few key Cajun bases, the roux and the Cajun trinity – onions, peppers and celery. As you know, I am constantly trying out new ideas, new recipes. So I am learn as I create it a dish as opposed to having the experience – the know how of how to do it. Conversely, I can make a roux and cheese sauce in my sleep. By making this dish with a cheese sauce, it is much more like a Mac ‘N Cheese. To that end, I served the leftovers to my youngest son before he went off to school. He said he really liked it. Why is that significant? Because he never likes pasta – but he loves Mac ‘N Cheese.
The Cajun influence was further enhanced by adding Andouille sausage. I simply used what I had in the house. The result is a really fun and flavorful dish. Try it the next time you want to put a spin on your Mac “N Cheese or on your pasta.
- 1 lb pasta
- 2 Chicken Andouille Sausages
- ¼ yellow onion diced
- ¼ red, yellow and green pepper, rough chopped
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 can coconut milk
- Chicken stock if needed
- 1 ½ - 2 cups cheddar cheese (reserve a little for the topping)
- 1 handful of pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 1 - 2 - tbsp Cajun spice
- In a big pot, bring a pot of water with salt added to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the andouille sausage. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the onions, peppers and celery back in the same pan and cook for 4 - 5 minutes - until just soft.
- In another pan, melt the butter. When melted, add in the flour. Mix until the flour is fully incorporate. Cook for 1 more minute to get a nutty flavor.
- Start adding in the coconut milk a little at a time. When it is absorbed by the butter and flour, keep adding in the coconut milk until it is all used up. The roux will get thicker as it heats if it is too thin.
- If the roux is too thick, add just a little chicken stock.
- Now start adding in the cheddar cheese about ⅓ at a time. When the cheese has fully melted, add in the next batch. Repeat until all the cheese is used.
- To assemble, pour the veggies into a baking dish.
- Top with the pasta noodles and mix together.
- Next, top with the cheese sauce and the sausage. Mix altogether well.
- Finish, by topping with a little more cheddar cheese and the pepper jack cheese.
- Bake in a 325 degree oven until the cheese melts - maybe 2 - 3 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
Start with Sauteed onions and peppers.
Make your pasta and add to the veggies.
Top with the Cheese sauce and then the Andouille. Look how creamy the cheese sauce is!
To complete the dish, mix the andouille, cheese sauce and noodles together well. Top with some shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheese and bake in a 325 degree oven until it melts.
Serve and enjoy.