It was this photo from Last Night’s Dinner that led me to create this recipe for a Cajun spiced sausage and broccoli pasta – the creamy bowl of carbs was just calling out to me! The original dish (going by the spiffy name of Pasta St. Charles!) from the Palace Cafe in New Orleans contained shrimp as well but as I didn’t have any at hand, it would just have to be sausage. As I was also too lazy to make a vegetable side dish (and the thought of a salad that day didn’t appeal), I opted to add some broccoli directly to the pasta dish.

Cajun Spiced Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

The final result was a total winner in our household and will definitely be repeated! Of course, I have no idea how it compares to the original dish but it tastes how I expect the pasta in the photo to taste so I’m happy! I’m so used to defaulting to a tomato based sauce that this makes a nice change and I’ll continue play around with no tomatoes in my pasta. Again, this is a pasta dish that keeps well – we had the leftovers for lunch the next day.

A note: The Cajun spice blend I used had no added salt. If yours does (I checked my supermarket and the usual brand that’s around has salt as its first ingredient), you might want to reduce this amount and/or play around with the ratio of spice to salt added at the end.

Cajun Spiced Sausage and Broccoli Pasta
serves 2 with leftovers

250g shell pasta
a small head of broccoli, cut into small florets
small knob of butter and a splash of sunflower oil
3 large fresh pork sausages, peeled
2 cloves garlic, minced
a large pinch of dried chili flakes
2 tsps Cajun spice
75 mL double cream
2 tsps Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Set a pot of water on to boil.

In the meantime, heat a large saute pan over medium heat and heat the sunflower oil and melt down the butter. Brown the sausage meat, breaking it up as it fries. When brown, toss in the garlic, stirring thoroughly and letting it cook. Add the dried chili flakes and Cajun spice and stir and again, let it fry for a minute or two. If there are lots of lovely brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, deglaze it with a bit of water.

That water should be boiling now. Toss in your broccoli florets and boil until tender but still with a bite. Drain and set aside. Reboil that water, adding more if needed. Salt the water and then throw in the pasta to boil.

Back to the sauce. Add the heavy cream and mustard and stir through. You’ll most likely need to thin it all a bit with some water. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper. Stir through the broccoli and the pasta when it’s al dente and drained.

Serve with some sliced spring onions and a wedge of lemon to squeeze over. Some grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano would also go well on top.

I’m submitting this post to Presto Pasta Nights, this week hosted by Once Upon a Feast.