Spicy Gumbo Pasta with Smoked Sausage

Smoked sausage has been my jam lately.  It’s certainly a weekly staple in our fridge and we have tried it in almost any dish imaginable.  Our weeknight meals are far from glamorous.  We eat pretty simply, especially through the week.

Paul has been doing a lot of hiking since his backpacking trip last fall.  He has a few more planned already for this year and the activity has given him a completely new outlook on being healthy.  He’s never been one to spend time in the gym.  He would much rather get “exercise” by chopping wood, or some other kind of manual labor, or by heading out on a long hike in the woods.  He’s been going on hikes several days per week.  It has him feeling strong and healthy and of course, he had dropped several pounds without even trying.  And all of that has made him even more interested in paying attention to what he is eating.

Spicy Gumbo Pasta with Smoked Sausage

Where our local Mexican restaurant used to be a weekly stop for us, at this moment, I cannot remember the last time we stepped foot in there.  We have been cooking at home a lot lately.  Our weeknight meals are far from glamorous.  They are usually healthy, but flavorful, and simple to prepare.  I usually head to the gym when I leave the office so when I get home, the last thing I want to do is spend an hour preparing dinner for us!

We really do eat the meals that I post here on the blog.  Things like enchilada pasta, black bean burgers, slow cooker verde chicken, and blackened chicken are pretty common occurrences in our kitchen.  And lately smoked turkey sausage has been my jam.  It’s a weekly staple in our fridge and we have tried it in almost any way imaginable.  I brown some sausage, add some onions and garlic, throw in any vegetables we have, add some pasta, some herbs and dinner is served.

This Spicy Gumbo Pasta came to mind because we were reminiscing about our trip to New Orleans last year.  (I can’t believe that it’s been almost a year!)  I love spicy, especially with pasta, and even more especially when it’s a super simple weeknight meal!

Spicy Gumbo Pasta with Smoked Sausage

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Spicy Gumbo Pasta with Smoked Sausage

Yield: 4 servings

Total Time: 25 min

All the flavors of gumbo in a super simple and flavorful pasta dish with bell peppers, tomatoes, smoked sausage and herbs & spices.

Ingredients:

12 ounces whole wheat pasta
12 ounces smoked sausage, sliced into coins
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 bell peppers, chopped (I used 1 red and 1 green)
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
2 cups chicken broth, divided
1 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta cooks, brown the sausage in a large non-stick skillet, adding oil if needed. Once browned, add the olive oil in the same pan and add the onions and garlic and stir everything together. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to soften, stir often.

Add the bell peppers, along with the parsley, cayenne, paprika, oregano, thyme and crushed red pepper and cook for another 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. Then add the tomatoes and cook for another minute or two. Then add 1 cup of the broth, stir to combine and bring to a simmer.

Whisk the remaining broth with the cornstarch until blended. Add to the simmering sausage/veggie mixture and stir well until the mixture begins to thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and then add the cooked pasta.

Cassie's Notes: use your favorite sausage for this dish - I prefer smoked turkey sausage, but if you prefer pork, then kielbasa or andouille sausage would be great. Also, if you prefer to use chicken thighs and/or shrimp instead of sausage, go for it. You will want 1 1/2 - 2 cups of protein in total so mix and match as you see fit!

Spicy Gumbo Pasta with Smoked Sausage