Last October, we went to North Carolina to see the leaves change. Since I had to pick up my sister at the local airport (2 hours away ) my friend Lourdes offered to accompany me and we stopped in Abingdon, Va. We stopped for dinner at a wonderful little restaurant called 128 Pecan. The menu was eclectic and delicious. We decided on a pasta dish with grilled chicken and Andouille sausage in a cream sauce. It was scrumptious. I tried to duplicate it twice, the first time it was OK. This time it turned out much better. Although, I just looked at the menu from the restaurant on-line and realized that the chef used rosemary and lemon to season the chicken. I totally missed that part. Here is my version of the pasta that I made in my cast iron skillet. Next time I make it I’ll try adding those two ingredients and I will update this post.
70 grams roasted red pepper (½ a pepper)
80 grams mushrooms (6-8 mushrooms)
80 grams course chopped red onion (1/3 onion)
125 grams chopped tomato (1/4 cup)
70 grams Andouille sausage (1 sausage)
250 grams chicken breast (1/2 chicken breast)
2 ½ Tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons of butter
¼ to ½ cup of heavy whipping cream
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Red pepper flakes
½ box of penne pasta
About 3 tablespoons of neutral tasting oil, like peanut oil
• Take a whole pepper and roast it (burn the outside of it) if you have a blow
torch, it chars really fast
• Let it cool and then remove the blackened skin, it does not have to be absolutely every piece but most of it needs to be removed.
• Slice 70 grams of it into small, thin slices
• Season with salt and pepper and set aside
Slice 1 Andoulille sausage into ¼ inch pieces
Chop 80 grams of red onion (about 1/3 onion) into course pieces and set aside
Chop a handful of parsley into small pieces, about 2 ½ tablespoons
This sounds like a lot of work, but the good thing is that you can chop it all up early, put all the ingredients in bowls already prepared (mis en place is the fancy name for it) and then it takes 10-15 minutes to cook and serve, that is about the time it takes to cook the pasta.
If you love some ingredients more than others, it is easy enough to add more or leave them out. I used precooked, chicken Andouille sausage and whole wheat pasta. (Although I prefer the real thing.)
1. Add water to a cooking pot that will hold the amount of pasta you will be cooking
2. Add salt to the water (like they say on The Chew, it has to be as salty as the sea.)
3. Put in the pasta and set the timer per instructions on the box.
4. Heat up your cast iron skillet (or whatever skillet you have)
5. Add a little oil to the skillet, about 3 tablespoons
6. Brown the sausage so it does not look so anemic, but this is critical if it is fresh sausage, you don’t want it to be raw
7. Remove from the skillet
8. Add the red pepper flakes
9. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until almost done
10. Add the tomatoes (I wanted the tomatoes to disappear) cook for about 30-40 seconds
11. Add the peppers and cook for 30 seconds
12. Add the red onions until they start to get translucent
13. Add the mushrooms
14. Add the sausage back in
15. Take the pan off the fire and check your pasta! There should be about 3 minutes left. Always taste the pasta so you know it is cooked. I leave it a little al dente because we are going to cook it again a little bit with the cream.
16. When the pasta is done, add it to the pan that is back on the stove with low heat and contains the chicken, sausage, and veggies
17. Add two tablespoons of butter and mix well
18. Add the ¼ to ½ cup of heavy cream, you can add a little more if you like it really wet or a little less if you like it really dry. Just mix well, you want to include all the fond (the little brown pieces) at the bottom of the pan, that has a lot of flavor.
19. Add the ½ cup of grated cheese
20. Add the parsley
A nice salad, a glass of wine, a loaf of fresh bread, and you are set.
Enjoy! Tia Ruth. Muaa Muaa