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Cooking with Rod

By Rod Cohenour

Like millions of people around the world, pasta is one of my favorite things in life. One of my favorite favorites is tortellini filled with cheese. This month's recipe combines that favorite with one of my most beloved Cajun-style recipes that my wife concocted a number of years ago. It combines her New Orleans Pasta elements with our wonderful Three Cheese Tortellini Al Fredo.


I believe you'll enjoy the dish.


Bon appetit~!!

Ms New Orleans Tortellini


Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. Essence of Emeril dry Cajun seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. Basil (dried)
  • 1 tsp. Red Pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. Black pepper, ground
  • 2 lbs Polska Kielbasa, sliced 1/4" thick
  • 2 lbs. chicken tenders
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/2 stick butter or 2 Tbsp. tub butter (or margarine)
  • 2 pkgs. Three Cheese Tortellini pasta (22 oz. each)
  • Water as required per pasta preparation directions
  • 2 jars Al Fredo sauce (19 oz. each)
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. Tabasco (or hot sauce of choice)
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Red (Pimiento) peppers, diced
  • 1 tsp. ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. Parsley (dried)
  • 2 bunches green onions, bulbs and leaves, slice in rather small pieces
  • Grated fresh or processed dry parmesan cheese


Instructions:

    1. Mix together Essence of Emeril dry Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, basil, red pepper flakes, and black pepper in small bowl.
    2. Rinse and pat dry chicken tenders. Sprinkle each side with spice and herb mixture.
    3. In skillet, heat olive oil and butter (or margarine). When butter is melted and pan is hot add seasoned chicken pieces. Cook to golden brown on first side, turn and finish to golden brown and fully cooked. Remove from skillet to rest. Keep warm.
    4. Using same skillet, add Polska Kielbasa slices. Brown and permit juices from sausage to create rich brown pan liquor. Remove Polska to bowl with chicken. Keep warm. (If required, you may add a tablespoon or two of water to aid cooking )
    5. Prepare Al Fredo sauce while Tortellini cooks.


NOTE: Pasta takes very little time to cook. Do not overcook.

    Add jars of prepared Al Fredo to skillet. Add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and roasted red peppers (diced). Heat through but do not boil. Stir in pan liquor while heating. Add nutmeg.
    6. In large bowl toss together chicken, Polska Kielbasa and Al Fredo sauce mixture. Add most of the green onions, reserving a portion for garnish.
    7. Add prepared Tortellini. GENTLY toss, taking care not to tear the pasta. Stir in parsley, reserving some for garnish.
    8. Garnish with reserved green onions, parsley and grated parmesan cheese.


Delicious served with crusty Italian bread, a crisp green salad, and iced tea or lemonade.


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