This has to be one of my absolute favorite dishes to eat and to prepare. I don't get to make this often since I live in the mountains and tasso isn't that easy to get here. It is fun to go into the stores, especially they "specialty" and "gourmet" stores and ask for it knowing good and well that they have no clue what tasso is much less carry it in their stores. Tasso is available at online Cajun grocery stores. If you don't know what tasso is, I will tell you. Tasso is a lean piece of pork that is highly seasoned (not highly spicy seasoned, but seasoned for flavor) and smoked. I used it to add flavor to a variety of dishes instead of using sausage. Around Lafayette and the surrounding areas in Louisiana, tasso is widely used. I hope you enjoy this figure friendly meal with you family and friends!
Three Cheese Tasso Pasta - Soften and 8 oz. package of cream cheese in a medium sauce pan over low heat. When cream cheese is softened add 1 cup of heavy cream, 1/2 cup each freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano and pecorino romano and blend. Keep heat low so it doesn't scorch. Now add 1-1/2 tablespoons Crystal Hot Sauce or Frank's Hot Sauce, 1 tablespoon of Lea & Perrins, 1 teaspoon dried sweet basil and lower heat to lowest setting and cover. Using 1/2 lb. to 3/4 lb. piece of tasso, slice into thin slices and cut slices into bite size pieces. Preheat a large, heavy pot over medium heat and add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil until oil ripples and add tasso and stir frequently for about 10 minutes. Add 1 medium onion chopped, 4 cloves of garlic minced. Cook another 5 to 7 minutes stirring frequently. Pour cheese sauce mixture into pot with tasso and blend. Lower heat to lowest setting and cover and let simmer while you cook your pasta to al-dente.
Note: You can add salt and black pepper to taste but make sure you taste it first. The tasso is seasoned with salt and the Parmesan cheese is salty so you don't want to over do it. Taste the sauce before you add it to the tasso - if you want a little more punch in your sauce, add 3/4 teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes at this point.