Pasta With a Little Zip

When office parties are over and you need a way to recycle the leftover cold cuts, try some Pasta With a Little Zip. Many people use just ground beef in their pasta dishes, but by substituting or adding salami and spicy sausage, we can put in some zing and character. Taken from creole cooking at its best, you can make this creation as spicy as you want. For four people, you'll need:

4 strips               bacon
1/4                    onion, diced
1 ea.                  green pepper, diced
1 pound                diced ham
1/2 lb.                diced salami or spicy sausage
2 cups                 heavy cream
1 tsp                  cayenne pepper
dash                   salt and pepper
 1/2 lb.               rainbow rotini noodles, cooked
2 TB                   parmesan cheese

Homemade fresh pasta shops abound in this area. Take advantage of them. There is a distinct wonderful difference in taste between fresh and boxed. It's actually not that hard to make your own, but it is time-consuming....and you need counter and table space!

Heat up a frying pan, then fry off the bacon until nice and crispy. Remove bacon, then saute the green peppers and onions until the onions are transluscent. Add the ham, salami, bacon, cream and spices and let reduce about 10 minutes on medium heat. Add your pasta then and mix well. Cook on low about 5 minutes. Heap on plates and top with the fresh parmesan cheese.

A lot of wine connoisseurs pare a slightly sweeter wine with spicy dishes. There's a great inexpensive Reisling from Elkhorn Vineyards in Oregon. It marries well with this dish. And as always, a creative cook is a good cook.