You guys — this is our favorite meal so far this year. It's saucy, creamy, slightly spicy, and totally easy.
You would think as a part-time food blogger, I would have my meal planning routine down. Unfortunately, that's not the case. So I recently found myself in the not-so-unusual predicament of figuring out what to cook while at the grocery and not feeling all that inspired to cook something elaborate. I saw that smoked sausage was on sale and the lure and ease of already fully-cooked meat got to me. I knew exactly what I wanted to make.
Josh and I have attended a Mardi Gras-themed fundraiser the past couple years and the caterer always brings a spicy Cajun pasta that is to die for. It's one of those meals that gets stuck in your brain. So I decided I needed to recreate it.
In my opinion, I pretty much nailed it.
Quick and Easy Cajun Sausage Pastaserves about 6
- 1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 lb. penne pasta
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 1-2 tablespoons cajun seasoning*
- 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained (use Rotel if you like more spice)
- 1 cup cream or whole milk
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- Boil pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside in a large bowl.
- While the pasta is cooking, chop the sausage and vegetables.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the sausage, and cook until edges are caramelized -- about 5 minutes.
- Add in the garlic, onion, pepper, mushrooms, and cajun seasoning and cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Pour in the tomatoes with their juice, cream, and parmesan. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
- Pour the sauce mixture into the large bowl with the penne and mix until combined.
*Note: In my experience, cajun seasoning mixes can vary greatly in their strength, ranging from very spicy to not spicy at all. I would advise you to start with 1 tablespoon and add more to taste once your sauce is simmering.