Creamy Creole Pasta … Gluten-Free!

This weekend, amidst dealing with ALL OF THE PEPPERS (more on that later this week!), I had a weird craving.

I really wanted creole food… but then I also really wanted pasta. I think the change in weather lately just put me right in the mood for pasta, for something creamy… but also loaded with the flavours of southern cuisine. So, I decided to freestyle it, and came up with this dish.

Oh MAN… I think it may now be my favourite pasta dish ever. Total comfort food, elevated a bit – I could live on this. The flavours and textures were perfect. and everything worked SO well together.

While it’s traditional to chop celery to roughly the same size as the onion and green peppers in Creole – or Cajun, for that matter – cooking, I decided that I wanted to “Star Trek” my celery. (Slice at an angle, making little celery Star Trek insignias!), for a bit more crunch, and a prettier dish.

Also, a note: While I would normally use Andouille sausage for this – and it would be FANTASTIC – we used a smoked turkey sausage. Beef and pork haven’t really been agreeing with my husband lately… so poultry it is!

Creole Pasta
Makes about 4 servings

1 lb gluten free pasta
1 lb Andouille or smoked sausage of choice, sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 green Pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 brown rice flour
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper
1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Place pasta in a large pot of boiling water. Plan to strain pasta when it’s JUST about tender enough, but in the meantime:

In a large saucepan, brown sausage. Add celery, onion, and green pepper; saute until tender. Remove from pan, set aside.

Add butter to pan, stir until melted. Sprinkle rice flour over melted butter; cook – stirring frequently – until the flour paste (roux) turns a golden brown. (Go darker if you’re comfortable with making roux!).

Carefully add white wine to pot – it will steam violently – and whisk until smooth. Add chicken broth, milk, cayenne powder and herbs, continue whisking until once again smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add sausage and vegetable mix to the pot, along with strained pasta. Cook over medium heat until some of the liquid is absorbed by the pasta, and it is as tender as you like it. Add shrimp, stir, and heat just until shrimp is cooked through.

Serve hot, sprinkled with green onions.

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