Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Sausage: A Flavorful Creole Delight
Spicy, Savory, and Satisfying
If you’re a fan of bold and spicy Creole flavors, this Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Sausage will hit all the right notes. This dish combines succulent shrimp, smoky sausage, and a rich, creamy Cajun-spiced sauce, all served over a bed of pasta. It’s a perfect choice for a special dinner or whenever you crave a taste of the bayou. Let’s get cooking!
For the Cajun Seasoning:
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Pasta:
- 8 oz linguine or fettuccine
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 pound Andouille sausage or smoked sausage, sliced into rounds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (adjust to taste)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
1. Prepare the Cajun Seasoning:
- In a small bowl, combine all the Cajun seasoning ingredients (paprika, dried oregano, dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt). Set aside.
2. Cook the Pasta:
- Cook the linguine or fettuccine according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
3. Sauté the Sausage and Shrimp:
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced sausage rounds and cook until they’re browned and slightly crispy, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the sausage from the skillet and set it aside.
- In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the shrimp and sprinkle them with 1 tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning. Cook the shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side, until they turn pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set them aside.
4. Make the Sauce:
- In the same skillet, add the chopped onion and bell peppers. Sauté them for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften.
- Add the minced garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Pour in the chicken broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the heavy cream and the remaining Cajun seasoning. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 5 minutes, or until it thickens slightly.
5. Combine and Serve:
- Return the cooked sausage and shrimp to the skillet with the sauce. Stir to combine and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to heat everything through.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, black pepper, or more Cajun seasoning if desired.
- Place a portion of the cooked pasta on each plate and top it with the Cajun shrimp and sausage mixture.
- Garnish with chopped fresh parsley for a burst of color and flavor.
- Serve your Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Sausage hot and savor the delightful blend of spicy and savory flavors.
Tips and Variations:
Customizing Your Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- Adjust the level of spiciness by increasing or decreasing the amount of cayenne pepper in the Cajun seasoning to suit your taste preferences.
- For added richness, you can use half-and-half or a combination of milk and heavy cream instead of using solely heavy cream.
- Feel free to use your favorite type of pasta in this recipe. Penne, rigatoni, or bowtie pasta work well.
- Instead of shrimp, you can use other seafood like crawfish or crabmeat for a different twist.
- This Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Sausage is incredibly versatile. You can make it as mild or as spicy as you like by adjusting the amount of Cajun seasoning. Serve it over your preferred pasta shape and customize it with your favorite vegetables for added texture and flavor.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat in a skillet or microwave until heated through.
- This dish captures the essence of Louisiana cuisine with its bold flavors and contrasting textures. The creamy sauce, spicy Cajun seasoning, and the smoky goodness of Andouille sausage come together beautifully to create a memorable meal. Whether you’re a fan of Creole cuisine or just looking for a flavorful dinner option, this Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Sausage is sure to satisfy your cravings. Bon appétit!
Cook’s Note (Continued):
- You can make this Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Sausage even heartier by adding vegetables like sliced okra, bell peppers, or diced tomatoes. These additions not only enhance the flavor but also provide a nice balance to the richness of the dish.
- If you prefer a gluten-free option, use gluten-free pasta in this recipe. Many brands offer gluten-free pasta varieties that work well with this flavorful Cajun sauce.
- When cooking the shrimp, be careful not to overcook them. Shrimp cook quickly, and overcooking can make them tough and rubbery. As soon as they turn pink and opaque, they’re ready to be removed from the skillet.
- This dish is a fantastic option for weeknight dinners, special occasions, or even when you want to impress guests with your culinary skills. The combination of creamy, spicy, and smoky flavors is a true crowd-pleaser.
- Remember that Cajun seasoning can vary in spiciness from brand to brand. Start with a moderate amount and adjust to your preferred level of heat. You can always add more Cajun seasoning later if you want an extra kick.
- Pair this Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Sausage with a crisp green salad or some crusty French bread to complete your meal. The fresh, contrasting elements will complement the richness of the dish.
- Enjoy the complex and satisfying flavors of this Cajun-inspired dish. Whether you’re cooking it for yourself or sharing it with loved ones, it’s a delightful culinary journey to the vibrant flavors of the bayou.