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Rice Pilaf with Sausage & Brown Spaghetti

Posted Oct 14 2011 7:43am

Friday!

Glad everyone liked my squirrel cookies . I’m not sure if they’re working or not…the Cardinals have both won and lost since I made them! Maybe they’ll bring home a win tonight so I can say the cookies had something to do with it.

(Hopefully this post doesn’t jinx them…)

Let me just throw this out there…I don’t cook a lot of dishes twice. Sometimes they weren’t as tasty as they sounded like; sometimes they’re just too much work; and sometimes I’m just bored. Luckily, cooking is an ever-changing hobby and I will (hopefully) never hit the end of the theoretical cookbook!

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So seeing as I was without kids this week at work and despite a nasty sinus infection, I managed to attempt two really tasty meals that may actually end up in my small repertoire of repeats!

The one I’m blogging about today I happened to catch on an episode of Rachael Ray , while getting ready to leave our hotel room in Indianapolis two weeks ago. Totally random, but she browned bits of pasta and combined them with rice…doesn’t that just make you want to try this recipe?! Maybe it’s just me…

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This recipe calls for Saffron. You can check Wiki out for more info about Saffron but suffice it to say, it’s an expensive spice that I happened to win in a blog contest. Soaking these red threads releases a ton of flavor, so it adds a great base to recipes like this one.

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If you’re looking to buy Saffron, you might want to check places like Marshall’s or Home Goods – I often see small jars of the red threads. Don’t scoff at the food shelves at discount home stores – the food is generally good quality, often organic, and you’ll get an extremely unique variety!

Back to the recipe…

Rice Pilaf with Spicy Sausage (adapted from Rachael Ray )

  • About 20 Saffron threads (omit if necessary)
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-5 links spicy sausage (Chorizo, Italian, whatever! I used Cajun chicken sausage
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup drained chopped pimientos (any sweet pepper would work) 
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup broken spaghetti (1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice

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Like I mentioned above, any spicy sausage will do. The original recipe calls for Chorizo because this is a Spanish-style recipe, but I wanted these Cajun chicken sausages, so I used those.

Note: this sounds like a lot of steps but it goes incredibly fast and overall isn’t much of anything!

First, you’ll want to let your Saffron threads seep in the chicken stock. Add the threads, stock, and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to low and let the threads steep. At this time, you can chop your onion and slice your sausage!

Heat a skillet with a tight-fitting lid with 1-2 tablespoons of EVOO. Brown the sausage on both sides, then set aside. Add a small amount of EVOO and then the onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers and peas to heat through, 1-2 minutes. Set aside with the sausage.

Put the skillet back on the stove and heat to medium. Melt the butter and add the pasta, stirring until it turns a deep brown, about 4 minutes.

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Stir in the rice, add the stock with saffron, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 18 minutes, until the rice is done.

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You can either layer the rice, veg, and sausage or do what I did, which was to just combine everything and scoop onto a plate. The flavors in this were delicious and so layered.

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The addition of that browned pasta was a subtle taste that really added to the buttery-ness of the plate. Try this with your own combination of vegetables and/or meat – you’ll love it!  

Question: Do you own Saffron? How do you use it?

Recent Eats: Martha’s Sugar Cookies , Peanut Maple Nuggets

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