Pasta for the new year: Pasta YaYa

Loyal readers know that I spent a good portion of my free time last year editing a cookbook for my church. For many of my cooking posts this year, I’m planning to try out recipes from that cookbook.

(And in case you weren’t aware, church cookbooks have some of the BEST recipes in them—mostly because they’re recipes submitted by real people who actually cook food that regular people want to eat.)

OK, off my soapbox.

So this past weekend, I set out to try out a recipe and was looking for something hearty and easy to serve for dinner. I also wanted something good, since I’d been eating leftovers for most of the week. So I picked a pasta recipe called “Pasta YaYa.” Here it is for your perusal:

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The Players

Pasta YaYa

4 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 lb. pork sausage, browned and drained (I omitted this. Not because I don’t like sausage but because I didn’t have any!)
2 cups chicken broth
1 lb. rainbow pasta (rotini), cooked and drained (I didn’t have rotini or bowtie pasta, so I used spaghetti noodles broken into smaller pieces.)
1 cup heavy cream (I didn’t have heavy cream, either, and am trying to keep my food a little lower on the fat content, so I used lowfat milk thickened with flour. Heavy cream would DEFINITELY work better.)
2 tbsp. blackening spice

(To make blackening spice, combine: 8 tbsp. paprika, 2 tbsp. granulated garlic, 2 tbsp. onion powder, 1 1/2 tbsp. dried thyme, 1 tbsp. dried oregano, 3 1/2 tbsp. salt, 1 1/2 tbsp. black pepper, 1 1/2 tbsp. white pepper, 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp. dried basil. Store in a tightly covered jar. You can use it on other things—like chicken—too!)

In a large saucepan or deep skillet, melt the butter and saute the garlic and green onions for a couple of minutes. Not too long, though! You don’t want burned garlic. Add in the chicken (cut into small pieces) and cook until the chicken is white and cooked through. Add sausage, chicken broth, and cooked pasta. Simmer for two or three minutes. Add cream and reduce for one minute. When ingredients have heated through and the cream has reduced somewhat, mix in 2 tbsp. of the blackening spice mixture (more if desired). Simmer for a minute or two more, then serve.

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My review: It’s pretty simple and just a touch spicy. I’m not sure it’s the BEST pasta dish I’ve ever made, but I’ll likely make it again—with the sausage!
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