Cajun Pasta


This is an incredibly easy recipe that is also incredibly versatile. Various herbs, proteins, and veggies can be used to compose the exact symphony you're looking for. This pasta is even great using only vegetables and herbs. With this recipe I wanted to provide the general outline but allow YOU to be the creative force behind this meal. So give it a little thought and cook the version of this pasta you think you'll like best. It's hard to make this pasta and it not come out delicious, so be brave.

Serving Size: 4

FOR THE PASTA:

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 white onion, minced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 1/2 tbsp cajun seasoning

1/2 tsp. red chili flakes

few shakes Worcestershire

4 servings of your favorite pasta type

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

1 cup frozen peas or 1 cup fresh spinach

1 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 stick of butter

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated. Plus more for garnish.

1/4 cup parsley or chive plus more for garnish

THE PROTEIN:

A vast array of protein can be used in this recipe. I’ve personally used chicken, shrimp, scallops, salmon, and tuna. However, the preparation is largely the same. Take 4 servings of the protein you choose and season with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and 1 tbsp. of cajun seasoning and marinate for at least an hour.

RECOMMENDED COOKING FOR PROTEINS:

Chicken: Bake at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes or until chicken easily shreds.

Shrimp/Scallops: Sauté shrimp in a large pan about 1 min 15 sec per side.

Salmon: Sauté salmon skin side down until skin is crispy, about 7-9 minutes, careful to disturb the salmon as little as possible. Flip the salmon and sear the top, about 3 minutes. Remove salmon from heat and remove skin in single piece. Fish should easily flake.

Tuna: Bake tuna steaks at 450 degrees for about 4-6 minutes per 1/2 inch of thickness. Fish should easily flake. A more frugal choice is 2 cans of tuna, drained.

INSTRUCTIONS:

For the sake of convenience, it is usually easier to have the protein cooked before beginning the pasta, as it will be reheated while cooking the pasta. The same logic can also be used for the pasta if you do so choose. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Cook onion about 3 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and chili flakes and cook an additional minute. Next, add a few shakes of Worcestershire and combine well. Meanwhile start cooking the pasta of your choice according to the pastas packaging. When onion and garlic are completely softened add cream, milk, the remaining cajun seasoning, black pepper, chili powder, and salt. Stir the sauce until color is consistent. Add the butter and stir until it is fully melted into the sauce. Stir in cheese until melted and smooth and reduce heat to low, allow sauce to slowly thicken, about 5 minutes. Add cooked pasta and peas to sauté pan and toss in sauce. Continue cooking on low and stirring for about 2 minutes. Add 3/4 of protein and chopped fresh parsley and toss to combine with pasta. Continue cooking on low and stirring an additional 2 minutes. Reserve some protein and parsley to garnish pasta upon plating. Everyone loves to see beautifully cooked meat and bright green herbs. When pasta is combined, portion into bowls and garnish with remaining protein and parsley. Adding a little fresh grated parmesan to the garnishing mix is usually a crowd pleaser.

#pasta #chicken #shrimp #salmon #cajun #tuna #scallops #veggie

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