I was in New Orleans back in September, and part of the fun there is tasting a ton of different things. In a shop I forget the name of, that had a ton of hot sauces and local jams/jellies/preserves, there was a big display of pecan oil.
I was intrigued. I've seen recipes (usually salad dressings) that involved walnut oil, but not pecan. I grabbed a bottle.
One of the uses I've seen online for it is roasting cauliflower, but I haven't done that yet. I let it sit in the cupboard for a bit, and then an idea occured to me. Why not pasta?
Specifically, pasta with andouille, romano cheese, caramlized onions and some red pepper.
My best approxmiation:
- 1 pound pasta of your choice. I used cavatapi, because it's full-bodied and will stand up to strong flavors.
- 2 medium yellow onions--the kind you get in the red net bag.
- 2 T butter
- 12 oz andouille, sliced. If you're not familiar with andouille, it's time to introduce yourself. It's delightfully spicy and double-smoked. I believe I read somewhere that at least one of those smokings is over sugarcane, but I can't find the reference.
- 3/4 cup romano cheese
- 2 t red pepper flakes.
- 1/4 cup pecan oil
Chop onion into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces. Melt the butter in a sauté pan on low heat and add the onions, stirring constantly until caramelized and dark brown.
Start the water for the pasta.
After you remove the onions from the pan, add the andouille and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
I used a spice grinder for the red pepper. A mortar and pestle will do or you can buy it in ready-to-grind jars.
Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Turn off the burner. Add the pecan oil, swirl it around a bit so it picks up the warmth from the pot. Add the pasta back to the pot, then the cheese, onions, pepper, and andouille.
At the last minute, I added about a teaspoon each of thyme, parsley and marjoram.
Stir well, dish it out and enjoy. You'll have a sweet & spicy blend of deliciousl.