Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pastalaya - Jambalaya with Pasta

Sacramento lacks tailgating. Serious tailgating. With a lack of major sports teams, our attempts at tailgating are few and far between and rather lackluster.  Well, OK, maybe I shouldn't base my opinion off one observance at a recent Mountain Lions game, but compared to Pac 10 or NFL games, we stink at them.

I was channel surfing a week ago and came across a food show on tailgating - the serious kind. I guess it was before the big LSU/Alabama game because the tailgaters they were showing were LSU fans. One of the more well known LSU tailgaters was talking about his pastalaya.

Pastalaya? This was something new to me. It doesn't take a genius to figure out it's jambalaya but with pasta instead of rice. Yet I had never heard or even considered it before. I was intrigued.

Being single, one of my problems is that when I tackle something that makes large quantities I have way too many leftovers. That's why I have hardly cooked all summer long and also had stopped the crockpot posts. For the pastalaya I found a solution. BFF's family was at the Raiders game, she was moving back into her newly remodeled master suite and walkin closet, and so I went over to her house to cook. She's always feeding me and here was my chance to cook for her and leave it for the boys' return from the game.

As you can see, she loved it. Her family did too. Myself, I think I still prefer the original thing - jambalaya made with rice.

BFF loved it
Pastalaya adapted from

2 lbs. pork shoulder or butt chopped in bite sized pieces.
1 lb. Andouille sausage chopped in bite sized pieces.
4 lg. onions chopped
5 stalks celery chopped.
1 bell pepper chopped
4 cloves diced garlic
1 cup green onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
Black & cayenne pepper
Louisiana hot sauce
2 16 oz. pkgs. fettuccini noodles broken in 4

Put pork pieces in a pot, cover with a water and simmer for one hour. Scoop the pork out, saving the broth, and use two forks to shred the pork. Set aside. 

Sear sausage in a little oil well on all sides and remove from pot. Deglaze pot, add onions and cook until golden brown. 

Add celery, garlic and bell peppers and continue to cook on med-low fire until reduced by 1/3 (cook them down good). Add a little water every so often so they don't stick or burn if needed. Add garlic and cook a few minutes stirring frequently to slightly roast the garlic.
Add the pork and sausage back into the pot and cover with broth and water.  Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a slow boil for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Taste and add seasoning as needed. You want it a little salty which will be absorbed by the pasta.
Break the fettuccini noodles in four and add to the pot. Cover with water by a quarter inch. Bring back to a slow boil and stir frequently. Leave the cover off the pot.
As it cooks the water will be absorbed by the pasta and some will steam off.
Continue to cook until a little water is left at the bottom of the pot. Turn off the fire, stir and cover. Let set for 15 minutes before serving.
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