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Cajun Beef Pasta
Lisa Brasgalla, Fargo, ND - 2001 2nd place winner

Ingredients
8 ounces penne or other medium size pasta
1 pound beef sirloin steak cut ¾ inch thick
3 cloves garlic, pressed
¼ cup minced white onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup roasted red peppers (such as Mancinni*)
4 sliced pepperoncinni peppers (such as Venecia*)
½ cup sliced zucchini
½ cup sliced yellow squash
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
¼ cup chardonnay or chicken broth
½ cup hot water
1 teaspoon chicken broth base
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne**
¼ teaspoon paprika**
½ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Instructions
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Cut steak across the grain into 1/8-inch thick strips as for stir-fry.

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté garlic and onion in oil. When garlic starts to brown, add steak strips and stir-fry until no longer pink. Add peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms and tomatoes. Sauté until tender crisp, about 5 minutes. Add wine and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Mix water with chicken base and add to meat mixture. Add salt, cayenne, paprika, pepper and thyme and cook 10 minutes.

Add butter and Parmesan cheese and cook until mixture thickens. Add pasta and toss. Transfer to a large serving platter. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4 to 6

*These are example of brands. The peppers are found in jars in the pickle or vegetable aisles.
**If too spicy, reduce amount of cayenne pepper and paprika.