November means waterfowl season on both the Chesapeake Bay and the Louisiana Bayou of New Orleans area native and Duck Camp Dinners chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois. This hearty one-pot pastalaya is a traditional Cajun riff on jambalaya, using pasta instead of rice, and made even more decadent with duck meat.
- 3 lbs. smoked sausage (like andouille), cut in half moons
- 4 whole ducks, simmered in water until tender, with meat picked from the bones and reserved
- 3 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 4 cups onions, diced
- 1 cup celery, finely diced
- 4 green bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
- 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
- 8 cups duck stock (liquid that was used to cook your ducks)
- 2 lbs. fusilli pasta (can also use bow-tie, penne, rigatoni)
- 2 cups green onion, sliced
- 4 bay leaves
- 3 Tbsp. of cooking oil
- 1/2 cup Italian flat parsley, chopped
- Hot sauce, to taste
In a heavy-bottomed pot, add cooking oil and sausage over medium-low heat. Once the sausage starts to render its fat, add the mushrooms. Cook on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes. Add onions and garlic and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add bay leaves, bell peppers, and celery, cooking for an additional 15-20 minutes. At this point, the mixture should look brown and deeply roasted. This is what helps give pastalaya its iconic color and rich flavor. Add your stock and Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil. Add your picked duck meat and pasta to the liquid. Bring pot back to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the pasta is al dente. Remove the lid and add green onions, parsley, and hot sauce. Fold into mixture and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Jean-Paul Bourgeois and photo courtesy of Denny Culbert.