Hey All, Max here!
So first post – this is exciting! I don’t want to waste your time so let’s jump rightin:
Spicy Cajun Sausage Pasta with Beets, Goat Cheese, and Pomegranate Seeds
Adapted from this recipe over at Not Without Salt:
Spicy cajun sausage (sliced and cooked in a pan)
Pomegranate seeds (even if Connie strongly advised against them)
Cilantro (because I had some cilantro lying around and cilantro makes everything better!)
THE BREAKDOWN (aka how it all went down)
I love colorful food, so I jumped at the chance to make this really striking looking pasta dish – I mean how difficult could it be to make a sauce, right?
So, I didn’t have any whole wheat pasta and I didn’t find any whole wheat farfalle at the grocery store, but I thought having little red bowties in my food was too good of an opportunity to pass up, so I went ahead and just got some – In the end I think I managed to get the al dente texture that I wanted (thumbs for being able to boil water!) though I probably should have saved the pasta for last, seeing as how it was the simplest thing and leaving the pasta sitting there for a while made it a little cold/ dry.
I was a bit skeptical of cooking a whole onion, since I don’t really use onions on a regular basis, but it all worked out in the end! (It probably had to do with the fact that I left these on for like 15 minutes until they started to brown rather than the 5 required by the recipe…)
This is Connie dangerously “grating” the beets with a peeler. I feared for her life (especially since on the episode of Masterchef we were watching one girl cut her finger clear off… I tried to chop the beets to make the process go faster, but those pieces weren’t as cooperative for turning into sauce… Darn!
Oh, also we forgot about the walnuts we left in the oven so ended up having to re-toast the walnuts, since our first batch was toast…
The sauce in the end didn’t end up as consistent as in the original recipe, probably because we didn’t grate the beets (also, I don’t know if this is a dumb question, but what the heck is cooking liquid?? – I just added water because at one point the sauce was more like a cooked beet salad.)
On a positive note, I’m really glad I made the changes that I did to the recipe – the sausage helped turn this into a whole, hearty meal (and the spicy kick really played well with the flavour of the beets/ goat cheese). The Pomegranate seeds helped to add acidity and lightness so that the dish didn’t become overwhelming, and the cilantro added colour! (because as much as I wanted this to be a red dish, it would have looked pretty intimidating to the casual observer.)
I definitely would want to try this recipe again at a later date because I feel like a beet sauce could be super versatile tool to have in my cooking recipe – imagine a picnic side of cute red bowties! So adorable (and probably what the original creators intended…)
Dish deliciousness (dishliciousness?) : 7/10
Recipe difficulty: 6/10 (It was pretty straightforward, I just think it requires more time/ a grater)
Overall experience: 4 Max heads out of 5 (A fun kickoff to this blog, no?)
Overheard in the Kitchen:
Connie: “Let’s embody vegetables!”
Max: “Ok ouch, hot boiling steam is hot”
Connie: “So what do you use to stir your pasta? Chopsticks. So what do you use as a cutting board? Aluminum foil.”