Cajun Linguini alla Riccardo
More experimenting this weekend with pasta dishes.
This one turned out fabulous, especially if you like a good spicy pasta dish.
Here's what you'll need:
- 1 eggplant
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 2 zucchini
- 12oz pasta (like Al Dente Brand Spicy Sesame Linguini or Red Chili Pepper Fettucini)
- 1 tbsp cajun spice
- 1-2 pounds of spicy andouille chicken sausage
- olive oil
- 1/2 cup pasta sauce (any kind will do, I used Classico Tomato & Basil)
Cut the eggplant, zucchini, and peppers into bite sized pieces and set aside. You may want to remove the skin from the eggplant, but you don't have to. Cook pasta according to the directions, rinse, and toss in a bowl with a little olive oil, and set aside. Add 3-4 tbsp of olive oil to the frying pan and heat over medium high heat. Add eggplant, peppers, zucchini, and sausage, and about 1/8 cup of water (my pan was quite full so adding the water helped to steam the vegetables a bit). Sprinkly on the cajun spice, and stir fry for about 8-10 minutes. I covered mine when I wasn't stirring to help keep in the heat and moisture. Add the pasta, and the tomato sauce, cook for another minute or two to make sure the pasta is heated nicely (in case it sat in your bowl for a while and got cold), and then serve.
Makes: a lot. Easily 10-12 servings.
- Use less pasta for a dish that's richer in meats and vegetables (I used 12oz of pasta, but I think 8oz might've been the right amount).
- Substitute or add other vegetables.
- Stir fry some diced chicken or shrimp in a separate pan and add at the end instead of or in addition to the andouille sausage.
- Top with grated parmesan cheese.
- If you can't get a spicy pasta like the two I mentioned, use regular pasta, but you may want to add more cajun or creole spices to the stir fry. I also wonder if maybe adding a little shrimp/crab boil to the water when cooking the pasta would help make the pasta spicy. Might be worth trying some time.
Nutrition-wise, this strikes me as a fairly healthy dish. If you used 8oz of pasta and 2 pounds of sausage, like the Trader Joe's Andouille Chicken Sausage I used, and maybe 1/4 cup of total olive oil, you're probably looking at about 350 calories, 16g of fat, 26 carb, and 25 protein plus whatever is in the vegetables. Those numbers are just for the pasta, sauce, sausage, and olive oil. The vegetables only add about 40 calories per serving.
You could probably cut down on the fat by using less olive oil. Maybe just some non-stick cooking spray, and a tablespoon of olive oil to toss the pasta with.