Cooking with Karin

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Creamy Pasta with Leftover Low Country Boil



Wow! This is my 500th post! Ok. Back to my regularly scheduled program...

I posted a few weeks back that Hubs and I hosted a graduation party for favorite daughter that included a huge Low Country Boil.

For those of you who don't know what that is, it's when you get out one of those big outdoor cookers with a huge pot, fill it with heavily seasoned water to cook up some smoked sausage, small red potatoes, corn on the cob and peel-on shrimp (some add whole blue crabs as well). Sometimes it's called Frogmore Stew in other parts of the South.

We had a big crowd for the party, so we used two cookers with two big pots!



There's rarely a party with the "perfect" amount of food, and I always chose to air on the side of too much...there's not much worse than having not enough. So, we almost always end up with leftover boil.

I posted a few weeks back on a  Meal Plan Monday about leftover low country boil. There are several great ideas in the post for making use of the leftovers.

However, over the years this recipe is the one I've turned to most often and not only for Low Country Boil leftovers. Hubs cooks up a mean smoked chicken, and when he does, he usually throws some Italian sausage in the smoker. When there are leftovers from that meal, I also turn it into this pasta, subbing it out for the shrimp and smoked sausage.

The recipe is based on one for Red Bell Pepper Shrimp, a creamy pasta dish from Second Round: Tea-Time at the Masters. I leave out the roasted red bell pepper in this version, but sometimes will include it in the smoked chicken version. I've listed it as an optional ingredient in the recipe below.

If you want to know how we do our boil, here's a very old link to a family sized version I ran in my Augusta Chronicle Column: Bond's Low Country Boil.

Do you have a favorite way to use leftovers? I'd love to hear from you!

Creamy Pasta with Smoked Sausage and Shrimp

8 ounces penne, rigatoni or other pasta
3 tablespoons butter or bacon drippings
1/2 pound leftover smoked sausage (from boil or smoker), such as kielbasa, Polish sausage or andouille, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 tablespoons all -purpose flour
1 cup half and half
1 cup homemade chicken broth, shrimp stock or vegetable broth, or 1 cup clam juice or 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 cup dry sherry
1 large roasted red bell pepper, chopped, optional
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound leftover cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain pasta and return to the pot.

Heat the butter or bacon drippings in a large skillet. Add the smoked sausage and brown well on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the half and half, broth and sherry. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the red bell pepper, if using, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes more. Stir in the sausage and shrimp and cook until they are heated through, about 3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the pasta. If the sauce is too thick, add a little of the pasta cooking water until you reach the desired consistency.

Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and pass additional Parmesan at the table.

Makes about 6 servings.


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