Casa M Pasta Jambalaya
When I was at Tulane we lived on Louisiana Avenue just off Magazine street. As luck would have it, one of our favorite pasta restaurants ever, Semolina's, was just around the corner. The very first pasta dish I ever ate there was Pasta Jambalaya. I was totally hooked. To me it was the best thing ever. I could eat it every day. Years later, I've been back and that dish was not on the menu anymore, but I still have very fond memories of it. This recipe is an approximation and adaptation that we think comes pretty close to the mark and really brings back tastebud memories for sure!
The portions here assume one serving. Adjust as needed to serve the number of people you need, but if you are feeding more than 4, do two simultaneous sautée pans with equal amounts to ensure the cook time doesn't exceed the time that it takes to cook the pasta. It's better to have the sauce finish before the pasta and have to hold briefly than to have the pasta finish before the sauce and it get overcooked or sticky. As mentioned in the Casa M Jambalaya Sauce, if you can't get your hands on tasso, just use a high quality Canadian bacon as a substitute. The Tabasco sauce adds both heat and acidity. Don't skip this ingredient. You can reduce the amount if you think it will be too hot, but the acidity is necessary. Odd as it sounds, the provolone and gouda mix of cheeses is amazingly good here. Smoked gouda if you can get it.
As always, from our table to yours... #SpiceConfidently #EssenceOfFlavor #ChemistryInTheKitchen #CasaMSpice
— Mike Hernandez
For the Vegetables:
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
- 1/4 red onion, cut into strips
- 1/2 rib celery, diced
- 1/2 poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, cut into strips, then cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
For the Meats:
- 2 ounces andouille sausage
- 2 ounces chicken thigh meat
- 1 Tablespoon tasso, diced (use a high quality Canadian bacon if you can't find tasso)
- 1/4 cup butter
Pulling It All Together:
- 3/4 cup Casa M Jambalaya Sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 1/4 cup provolone cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup smoked gouda cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup scallions, green tops only, chopped
- 8 ounces bowtie (or shape of your choice) pasta, cooked weight (4 ounces of dry pasta)
The portions here assume one serving. Adjust as needed to serve the number of people you need, but if you are feeding more than 4, do two simultaneous sautée pans with equal amounts to ensure the cook time doesn't exceed the time that it takes to cook the pasta.- Mike Hernandez
LET’S GET COOKING
Get salted water boiling in a pasta pot. Just before you add your pasta to the water, start step 2 below since the timing is very similar to cook the vegetables and proteins as it is to cook the pasta.
Note that the ingredient list above assumes one serving. Multiply that by the number of people you're feeding (up to 4, since more that that should be done side-by-side in a separate sautée pan to ensure even cooking in the short time it takes to boil the pasta) before starting this step. Add the oil to a thick-bottomed sautée pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and cook until they start to show color.
Add the butter to the pan and let it fully melt, then add the proteins and cook them until the chicken starts to show just a hint of browning.
Add the prepared Casa M Jambalaya Sauce to the pan and bring to a boil. Ensure that the butter is fully incorporated, then turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner.
Your pasta should be done about the same time as the sauce. If it's done earlier, drain it and quickly quench it with a quick rinse with cool water. You're looking to get excess starch off the outside of the pasta so it doesn't stick together and cool it just enough it slows the cooking process. You're not looking to cool the pasta off so much it requires re-heating. Ideally, your pasta finishes at the same time as the sauce.
Portion the pasta out into large, deep pasta bowls. Add the sauce evenly onto each bowl, then garnish with the cheeses and green onion. Serve with Tabasco sauce on the side.